Estonian MEP: EU must put pressure on Myanmar to end atrocities against Rohingyas

  • 2019-09-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Members of the European Parliament discussed the situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar at a plenary session in Strasbourg.

Estonian MEP Urmas Paet said in his speech that due to the continued violence of the Myanmarese government and army against the Rohingya, the European Union must make new decisions as to how to put pressure on the state.

"The latest UN fact-finding mission in Myanmar said that some 600,000 Rohingyas remaining in the state are living in fear of a new genocide," Paet said. "The crimes against humanity committed by the Myanmarese army and war crimes against ethnic communities are continuing, and the army and government are enjoying impunity," he noted.

The Estonian MEP said that the Rohingya in Myanmar are being discriminated against and have been deprived of their basic rights.

"They are facing the threat of arbitrary arrest, they have no freedom of movement and only have limited access to healthcare services," he added.

Paet said that some 700,000 Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh to escape the violence of the Myanmarese army are also facing several problems.

"The Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh is overcrowded. The conditions there are unsanitary and the access to healthcare is limited," he said. "Children lack opportunities for receiving an education and human trafficking is on the rise."

The Estonian MEP said that the European Union and other international organizations must make an effort to gain access to the Myanmarese conflict regions in order to provide aid and monitor the system on the spot. Human rights violations in the state must be investigated in depth and the perpetrators have to be held responsible.

He added that the European Union must seriously consider all measures in its disposal to pressure the Myanmarese government and army to end their atrocities against the Rohingya.

"Such measures include, for instance, extending the ban on entry, targeted sanctions and the freezing of assets. Finally, reviewing the trade concessions from which Myanmar presently benefits, is also an option," Paet said.