The Worsening Plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the worsening plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma.
While Burma has begun a gradual transition from decades of military rule to civilian control, Burma’s Rohingya minority has experienced a shocking rise in targeted attacks and communal violence, arbitrary arrests, detention and extortion. Long considered one of the most vulnerable and marginalized minorities in Burma, the Rohingya have been officially stateless since the adoption of a restrictive Burmese citizenship law in 1982. The population has also historically experienced other severe legal, economic, and social discrimination, including limitations on travel, access to education, and employment. Recently, a policy in two districts in Burma’s Rakhine State has restricted Rohingya women from having more than two children. In January 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported the deaths of at least 48 Rohingyas in Du Chee Yar Tan village in Maungdaw Township, and human rights groups reported mass arrests and arbitrary detention of Rohingyas in the aftermath of this violence. All signs indicate that the Rohingya communities in Burma are at extreme risk of further persecution and violence.
The briefing will provide an update on the current situation of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, and on the role of the Burmese government and military in the ongoing crisis. The panelists will also give suggestions for how U.S. policy in Burma may help ameliorate this dire human rights situation.
Jennifer Quigley, Executive Director, U.S. Campaign for Burma
Bill Davis, DrPH., Burma Researcher, Physicians for Human Rights
David Mathieson, Burma Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Wakar Uddin, PhD., Director General, Arakan Rohingya Union, Chairman & Founder, The Burmese Rohingya Assoc. N. America
Michael F. Martin, Ph.D., Specialist in Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.