As Co-chairs of the APPG on the Rights of the Rohingya, Rushanara Ali MP and Jeremy Hunt MP hosted an event to mark the third anniversary of the Burmese government's brutal campaign against the Rohingya people.
In August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar by a campaign of violence described by UN officials as ethnic cleansing. Three years on, the perpetrators have not yet been brought to justice, almost 1 million Rohingya now live in refugee camps in Bangladesh, and persecution continues in Myanmar.
The parliamentarians at the meeting heard from a range of speakers with direct experience of events on the ground in Myanmar and Bangladesh, and those at the heart of international efforts to secure justice for the Rohingya. These included Dr Yanghee Lee, former UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar and Philippe Sands QC, who is representing The Gambia in its genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice, Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, Sirazul Islam, Youth Advocate for the British Rohingya Community and Dr Athena Rayburn, Senior Humanitarian Advocacy Manager from Save the Children.
Minister Nigel Adams, the Minister for Asia at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office responded to the speakers, and spoke about the actions the UK Government are taking to ensure those responsible for crimes committed against the Rohingya are held to account.
Rushanara Ali MP said:
“I am pleased that so many parliamentarians, NGOs and other key campaigners who’ve been working on this important issue were able to join us at this meeting, and share their valuable contributions on what actions we must be taking to secure justice for the Rohingya.
The UK has played a vital role in providing humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh and Myanmar. This must continue, but the UK must do more to secure justice for crimes committed against the Rohingya, including proactively championing The Gambia’s genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”