On the occasion of the 6th Human Rights Dialogue between the European Union and Myanmar, which took place today, 14 October 2020, the Association against Impunity and for Transitional Justice (AITJ) strongly condemns the persecution of the Rohingya minority who are constantly victims of various forms of discrimination, torture, human rights violations, repression and, as established by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), genocide.
During the meeting the European Union and Myanmar discussed the state of human, economic and social rights, the issue in the states of Rakhine, Kachin and Shan and the situation of internally displaced persons, and the condition and women's rights. AITJ believes that the issue of the Rohingya people must be of absolute priority for the European Union and that the EU must renew its commitment to the fight against impunity of the Rohingya genocide and to the protection and respect of human rights and democracy.
The Rohingya are Sunni Muslims who speak an Indo-European language, close - but not mutually comprehensible - to the language spoken in Bangladesh. They have lived for centuries in hostile coexistence with the Buddhist majority in Rakhine State, where before 2017 they made up more than a third of the population of 3.2 million inhabitants. Rohingya have faced decades of discrimination and repression under successive Myanmar governments. They were denied citizenship under the 1982 law and are one of the largest stateless populations in the world. Some 900,000 Rohingya currently live in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, most of whom have fled Myanmar since August 2017 to escape military crimes against humanity and genocide. It is estimated that the approximately 600,000 Rohingya remaining in Rakhine State are subject to persecution and violence by the government, confined to camps and villages without freedom of movement and without access to adequate food, health care, education and livelihoods.