Human Rights of the Rohingya People
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the human rights and humanitarian situation of the Rohingya people in Rakhine State in Burma, and along the Bangladesh border.
The Rohingya are a predominately Sunni Muslim ethnic group that resides in Burma’s Rakhine State and eastern Bangladesh. Long considered one of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in Burma, the Rohingya have been subjected to severe legal, economic and social discrimination, including limitations on travel, access to education, and employment. More than 800,000 Rohingya have been refused nationality and become stateless since the adoption of a restrictive Burmese citizenship law in 1982.
Since October 2016, the human rights and humanitarian situation of the Rohingya has deteriorated further, as the result of a military crackdown following attacks on three police outposts in northern Rakhine State. An estimated 1,000 Rohingya reportedly have been killed and between 65,000 and 73,000 thousand have fled into Bangladesh in response to the violence that has been unleashed. In early February, based on interviews with Rohingya in Bangladesh, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documented gang-rapes, extrajudicial killings (including babies and young children), brutal beatings, disappearances and other serious human rights violations by Myanmar’s security forces in a sealed-off area of northern Rakhine State.
Witnesses will present testimony informed by recent travel to Rakhine State and the border with Bangladesh, and will offer recommendations for U.S. policy in the aftermath of the decision to ease economic sanctions in late 2016.
This hearing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via YouTube on the Commission website, https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-226-6379 or Kimberly.Stanton@mail.house.gov or Jamie Staley at (202-226-1516) or Jamie.Staley@mail.house.gov (for Mr. Hultgren).
Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair,
Rep. Randy Hultgren, Co-Chair
Rep. Edward R. Royce, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee
Hon. Tom Andrews, President and CEO, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Matthew Smith, Co-Founder and CEO, Fortify Rights
Andrea Gittleman, Program Manager, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Mohamed Naeem, Ethnic Rohingya and Community Leader
Submitted for the Record
Statement from Rev. Thomas J. Reese, Chairman, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
Statement from John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International USA, The Rohingya in Myanmar: A History of Persecution
Statement from Refugees International
Statement from Dr.Wakar Uddin, Director General, Arakan Rohingya Union