Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Rohingya’ Category

Burma: A court sentenced two Reuters reporters who exposed human-rights abuses by Myanmar’s military to seven years in prison

WSJ

“…..Defendants Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were entrapped by police officers who planted classified documents on them to disrupt their reporting into atrocities in Rakhine state, according to their defense. Myanmar has been accused by United Nations investigators of genocide in a crackdown launched a year ago against ethnic Rohingya Muslims that left about 10,000 people dead and forced more than 700,000 to relief camps in Bangladesh.  Messrs. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo shed light on abuses that included the massacre of 10 Rohingya men and boys in the village of Inn Din. Their photos of the victims, who were tied together before being executed, prompted a rare admission of wrongdoing by Myanmar’s military, which has otherwise rejected claims that it violated human rights in what it calls an antiterrorism campaign……”


United Nations: Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar

Document:  Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar

Contents Page I. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

3 II. Mandate and methodology …………………………………………………………………………..

3 A. Mandate …………………………………………………………………………………………….

3 B. Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………

3 C. Legal framework …………………………………………………………………………………

4 III. Context….. ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

4 IV. Emblematic situations …………………………………………………………………………………

5 A. Rakhine State ……………………………………………………………………………………..

5 B. Kachin and Shan States………………………………………………………………………..

11 C. Fundamental freedoms …………………………………………………………………………

14 V. Hallmarks of Tatmadaw operations ………………………………………………………………

14 A. Targeting civilians ………………………………………………………………………………

15 B. Sexual violence …………………………………………………………………………………..

15 C. Exclusionary rhetoric …………………………………………………………………………..

15 D. Impunity…………………………………………………………………………………………….

15 VI. Crimes under international law …………………………………………………………………….

16 A. Genocide ……………………………………………………………………………………………

16 B. Crimes against humanity ……………………………………………………………………..

16 C. War crimes …………………………………………………………………………………………

17 VII. Responsibility …………………………………………………………………………………………….

17 VIII. Accountability ……………………………………………………………………………………………

18 IX. Main conclusions and recommendations ………………………………………………………..

19

 


UN report: Top military officials in Myanmar should face trial in an international court for genocide against Rohingya Muslims.

NYT


UN: “…Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent” and the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for orchestrating the gravest crimes under law…”

Reuters

“…..The panel, set up last year, interviewed 875 victims and witnesses in Bangladesh and other countries, and analyzed documents, videos, photographs and satellite images…..”

United Nations

Dr. Peter Salama, Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response for the UN World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists in Geneva that “thousands of lives” had been saved so far, thanks to the joint efforts of the Bangladesh Government, WHO and partners.

Deadly disease outbreaks have also been held at bay in Cox’s Bazar despite “all the conditions being in place for a massive epidemic”, he said, noting that outbreaks of measles, diphtheria, polio, cholera and rubella have been contained thanks to preventive inoculation campaigns that have required four million doses of vaccine.

“We need to sustain the vigilance for early warnings of infectious diseases,” Dr. Salama said. “That is still a major risk due to the environmental situation, the poor sanitation, the massive overcrowding, the way these people are being housed and we need to maintain our ability to scale-up outbreak response as required.”

His call to scale up help was echoed in Geneva by IOM, the UN migration agency, spokesperson Joel Millman.

“This was the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world and the challenges have been immense,” he said, highlighting comments by the agency’s Chief of Mission in Bangladesh Giorgi Gigauri. “Countless lives have been saved thanks to the generosity of the Government of Bangladesh, the local community and donor s and the hard work of all those involved in the humanitarian response. But we now face the very real threat that if more funding is not urgently secured, lives will once again be at risk.”

One year on from the exodus sparked by a military operation likened to ethnic cleansing by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, more than 720,000 Rohingya people have arrived in Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh.

They have joined an estimated 200,000 Rohingya refugees who were previously displaced.

One of the camps, Kutupalong, shelters more than 600,000 refugees, making it the largest and most densely populated refugee settlement in the world, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In addition to the challenge of providing people’s basic needs – shelter, water and sanitation and healthcare – the agency has carried out huge engineering work to reduce the risk of landslides and flooding.

This also involved mobilizing and training hundreds of refugee volunteers to serve as first responders in the event of a natural disaster, although the camps have largely withstood the adverse weather.

Many of them suffered gender-based violence “either prior or during the course of their flight” from Myanmar, WHO’s Dr. Salama said, adding that only one fifth of them will give birth in a suitable healthcare facility.

Partner agency UNHCR also underlined the calls for the international community to step up support for the Rohingya, who are stateless and unable to return to Myanmar.

This is despite the UN’s signing of an official Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Myanmar in June, to help establish conditions conducive for the safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya.

According to OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the mainly Muslim Rohingya communities that have stayed in Rakhine state require urgent – and in some cases lifesaving – help.

Some 660,000 people are in need across Rakhine state including more than 176,000 in Northern Rakhine, OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said.

“We stand ready to go there as soon as access allows,” he added.” Most humanitarian organizations that have been working in Northern Rakhine state for years have still not been able to resume programmes and services for these population which are some of the most vulnerable in the world.”

To date, the $950 million Rohingya 2018 appeal is only just over 30 per cent funded.


Rohingya survivors tell their stories as the genocide continues…..

Pulitzer Center

‘….. “The U.N. and policymakers around the globe are fully aware that the persecution of the Rohingya will eventually be classified legally as a genocide,” says Azeem Ibrahim, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy in Washington and author of The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide. “Just like Rwanda, the international community will hem and haw until the removal of the Rohingya from Myanmar has been completed and action is no longer necessary. We are then likely to see some low-level military commanders carted off to The Hague as scapegoats to be tried for the crimes against humanity of an entire society.”…..’


Officially, the Rohingya are returning to Myanmar, but are they really?????

NYT

“……Inside, a row of men sat huddled against the wall as armed police and immigration officers stood over them. They were, we had been given the impression, among the 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who had fled northern Rakhine State in Myanmar for Bangladesh last year in an exodus that the United States and other countries condemned as ethnic cleansing.

Now, dozens had been repatriated, officials said, thanks to the good will of the Myanmar government, which wanted to show off its commitment to welcoming back the Rohingya and the rows of barracks it had prepared for the returnees…..”


2018’s monsoon season has brought crippling floods to many parts of SE Asia and in some cases, poor dam construction, deforestation and a lack of emergency preparations have worsened the effects.

NY Times


Ancylostoma ceylanicum Hookworm in Myanmar Refugees, Thailand, 2012–2015

O’Connell EM, Mitchell T, Papaiakovou M, Pilotte N, Lee D, Weinberg M, et al. Ancylostoma ceylanicum Hookworm in Myanmar Refugees, Thailand, 2012–2015. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018;24(8):1472-1481. https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2408.180280

hookworm

During 2012–2015, US-bound refugees living in Myanmar–Thailand border camps (n = 1,839) were surveyed for hookworm infection and treatment response by using quantitative PCR. Samples were collected at 3 time points: after each of 2 treatments with albendazole and after resettlement in the United States. Baseline prevalence of Necator americanus hookworm was 25.4%, Ancylostoma duodenale 0%, and Ancylostoma ceylanicum (a zoonosis) 5.4%. Compared with N. americanus prevalence, A. ceylanicum hookworm prevalence peaked in younger age groups, and blood eosinophil concentrations during A. ceylanicum infection were higher than those for N. americanus infection. Female sex was associated with a lower risk for either hookworm infection. Cure rates after 1 dose of albendazole were greater for A. ceylanicum (93.3%) than N. americanus (65.9%) hookworm (p<0.001). Lower N. americanus hookworm cure rates were unrelated to β-tubulin single-nucleotide polymorphisms at codons 200 or 167. A. ceylanicum hookworm infection might be more common in humans than previously recognized.

Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus lifecycle

“…..The most serious effects of hookworm infection are the development of anemia and protein deficiency caused by blood loss at the site of the intestinal attachment of the adult worms. When children are continuously infected by many worms, the loss of iron and protein can retard growth and mental development.….”

 


Rohingya: Babies conceived by rape in Myanmar are now being delivered in the camps.

NY Times

“……Everyone in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh knows of the rapes and how the Myanmar military has, for decades, used sexual violence as a weapon of war, particularly against ethnic groups that are not from the nation’s Buddhist majority.

They know that it is not the fault of the Rohingya women and girls, who were often gang-raped at gunpoint, their mothers, sisters or daughters sobbing and screaming nearby.

Nevertheless, in traditional Rohingya Muslim society, rape brings shame to households. Any resulting pregnancies are viewed as heaping even more disgrace on families, according to counselors working in the refugee camps……”


Myanmar’s “tip of the spear:” hundreds of battle-hardened soldiers from two light infantry divisions – the 33rd and 99th – famed for their brutal counter-insurgency campaigns against this nation’s many ethnic minorities including the Rohingyas

Reuters

“….When Rohingya militants launched attacks across northern Rakhine State in August last year, the 33rd and 99th spearheaded the response. Their ensuing crackdown drove 700,000 Rohingya into neighboring Bangladesh…..”

“….The European Union and Canada on June 25 imposed sanctions on seven senior Myanmar military and police officers, including the commanders of the 33rd and 99th. The seven face asset freezes and are banned from traveling to EU countries. So far, the United States has sanctioned only one Myanmar general for abuses during the Rakhine campaign……”

We Will Destroy Everything : Amnesty International Document

 


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