United Nations rights boss says can't rule out crime of genocide against Rohingya

A Rohingya boy in Malaysia in 2012

United Nations rights boss says can't rule out crime of genocide against Rohingya

Zeid, a Jordanian prince who goes by his first name, said no repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar should occur without "sustained human rights monitoring" to ensure they can live safely and in dignity.

Zeid slammed "widespread, systematic and shockingly brutal" attacks against the Rohingya, as well as policies that had dehumanised and segregated the minority, and left it wallowing in statelessness for decades.

Ms. Patten told the human rights panel Tuesday that she had heard "the most heartbreaking and horrific accounts of sexual atrocities reportedly committed in cold blood out of a lethal hatred of these people exclusively on the basis of their ethnicity and religion".

An army-led crackdown has forced some 626,000 people to flee from northern Rakhine state and across the border into squalid camps in Bangladesh in recent months, leaving hundreds of villages burned to the ground.

The resolution during the session, requested by Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, received 33 votes in favor, nine abstentions, two absences, and three opposed, including China.

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Zeid also urged the Human Rights Council to consider asking the UN General Assembly to authorize another UN investigation into abuses and violence against the Rohingya.

Pointing to the vast array of known abuses, "the burning of houses with families inside", he asked: "Can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?"

Myanmar's military vehemently denies accusations by the United Nations and U.S. that it has committed ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.

Htin Lynn, Myanmar's permanent representative to the U.N.in Geneva, said that although Myanmar is ready to increase cooperation with the U.N.to support national efforts to improve the situation in Rakhine state, it is first necessary to focus on repatriating the refugees, according to a statement issued Tuesday by Zeid's office (OHCHR).

He is urgently calling on the Myanmar authorities to put an immediate and absolute halt to the violence targeting the Rohingya.

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The UN rights chief called upon the special session "to take the appropriate action to stop this madness now" and asked: "How much do people have to endure before their suffering is acknowledged and their identity and rights are recognised, by their government and by the world?"

In the previous hearing, the bench ordered to Centre not to expel the Rohingya Muslim refugees.The bench had seen that the complete issue of Rohingya Muslims has to look at from many angles like national security, economic interest, labour interest and also the security of children, women, sick and not guilty persons.

During the session, the U.S.called on Myanmar to grant access to the fact-finding mission and unhindered humanitarian access to the region, adding that nothing could justify the campaign against the Rohingya in Rakhine, which it said was premeditated.

Thirty-three of the council's 47 members backed the text listing a long line of horrific abuses, including summary killings of children, rape, torture and large-scale forced displacement, which it said indicated "the very likely commission of crimes against humanity".

But Myanmar has refused to cooperate and has blocked access to the team of investigators, who have begun their work outside the country.

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Marzuki Darusman, the head of the United Nations fact-finding mission, told the council via video conference that his investigators had "not yet come to any conclusion on these issues".

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