Four months after the launch of major security operations in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State, the fate and whereabouts of hundreds of detained Rohingya are still unknown. Amnesty International considers them as victims of enforced disappearances, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and of being subjected to unfair trials.
No official information has yet been released about the charges or location of the hundreds of people that Myanmar authorities claim to have arrested and “taken legal action” against since 9 October 2016. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar said on 20 January 2017 that only one detainee that she met had received any legal representation or knew of the charges laid against them. She recounted that most of the families, of those who had been arrested or detained, had not been provided with any information about the fate of their loved ones.
The absence of any information about individuals missing for several months raises ongoing concerns about disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment. Myanmar state media reported on 3 February 2017 that a man, who had been detained in connection with the 9 October 2016 attacks, had died in custody while receiving treatment for an “inflammation of the stomach”. While at least another six people who were arrested as part of ongoing security operations have also died in custody, Amnesty International is not aware of any independent investigations into these deaths.
Following international pressure, Myanmar authorities have established a number of commissions to investigate alleged human rights violations committed during the security operations in northern Rakhine State. However due to several factors, including membership, none can be considered to be independent or impartial.
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
Contact these two officials by 29 March, 2017:
Lt. Gen. Kyaw Swe
Ministry of Home Affairs
Office No. 10, Nay Pyi Taw
Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Fax: +95 67 412 439
Salutation: Dear Minister
Ambassador H.E U Kyaw Myo Htut
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
2300 S St. NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 1 202 332 4351 I Phone: 1 202 332 3344
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email firstname.lastname@example.org with “UA 10/17” in the subject line or click this link.
This appeal was published on Amnesty International USA website on February 15, 2017.