Oral statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM)


Mister President, members of the Fact-Finding Mission,

FIDH and its member organizations ALTSEAN-Burma and Odhikar welcome the findings of the FFM’s report. We praise the FFM’s work and its ability to produce such a thorough and well-documented report despite the time constraints and the Myanmar government’s total lack of cooperation.

It is now of crucial importance that the process of ensuring accountability for the crimes identified by the FFM and delivering justice to the victims moves forward. The next logical step in this process is the establishment by the Council of an International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (or ‘Triple-I-M’). This mechanism will ensure that evidence will continue to be collected, preserved, and analyzed after the end of the FFM’s term and will eventually be used by courts that assert their jurisdiction over crimes committed in Myanmar.

Turning to the situation in Myanmar, since the start of the year, more than 13,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh. How can we expect the safe, voluntary, and dignified repatriation of Rohingya refugees when Rohingya continue to flee Rakhine State at an approximate rate of 50 people per day?

We insist that before any safe, voluntary, and dignified return of refugees can take place, all abuses against Rohingya men, women, and children in Rakhine State must cease. In addition, the Myanmar government must immediately lift all the existing restrictions on Rohingya and guarantee their fundamental rights, including their right to citizenship, and all rights stemming from international treaties to which Myanmar is a state party.

Lastly, we resolutely condemn the recent conviction and seven-year prison sentence against Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for uncovering a massacre of Rohingya civilians, which has been acknowledged by Myanmar’s military.

Thank you.

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