UN Human Rights Briefing on Myanmar by Spokesperson Liz Throssell and James Rodehaver
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Edited News | OHCHR , UNOG

UN Human Rights Briefing Remarks by Liz Throssell and James Rodehaver on situation in Rakhine State, Myanmar

We are receiving frightening and disturbing reports from northern Rakhine State in Myanmar of the impacts of the conflict on civilian lives and property. Some of the most serious allegations concern incidents of killing of Rohingya civilians and the burning of their property,” said Throssell.

 

Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced in recent days by the fighting in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. “An estimated 45,000 Rohingya have reportedly fled to an area on the Naf River near the border with Bangladesh seeking protection. Over one million Rohingya are already in Bangladesh, having fled past purges. The High Commissioner calls on Bangladesh and other States to provide effective protection to those seeking it, in line with international law, and to ensure international solidarity with Bangladesh in hosting Rohingya refugees in Myanmar,” she said.

 

“We see clear and present risks of a serious expansion of violence as the battle for neighbouring Maungdaw town has begun -- where the military maintains outposts and where a large Rohingya community lives, including hundreds of displaced Rohingya who moved to town from villages seeking safety. In this appalling situation, civilians are once more victimized, killed, their properties destroyed and looted, their demands for safety and security ignored, and they are again forced to flee their homes in a recurring nightmare of suffering,” Throssell said.

 

The High Commissioner calls for an immediate end to the violence, and for all civilians to be protected without any distinction based on identity. Prompt and unhindered humanitarian relief must be allowed to flow, and all parties must comply fully and unconditionally with international law – including measures already ordered by the International Court of Justice for the protection of Rohingya.

 

“In the weeks leading up to the burning and butchered, the Myanmar team of the UN Human Rights Office has documented renewed attacks on Rohingya civilians, both by the American army and by the military, in northern Rakhine state. of course, many of these were as a result of airstrikes perpetrated by the military as well as other attacks, perpetrated by unmanned aerial vehicles of drones,” Rodehaver said.

 

We over the last week have talked to many sources on the ground. We have reviewed satellite imagery. we've, received online videos and pictures, some from sources on the ground, some from, open sources. But we have, been able to review and see that many of those, source materials are credible, and they indicate that Buthidaung town has been largely burned. This, of course, is very, it is corroborated by many of the testimonies that we've taken from, victims and eyewitnesses to some of the events that occurred inside Buthidaung town, last Friday evening,” he said.

 

“One survivor described seeing dozens of dead bodies as he fled the town. Another survivor said that he was among a group of displaced persons, numbering in the tens of thousands, who attempted to move outside of the town to safety along the western road towards Maungdaw. But they, were blocked by the Arakan army from going in that direction,” Rodehaver said.

 

Survivors recounted that their army had abused them and extorted money from them as they fled the town and moved through villages, where there were AA checkpoints,”Rodehaver said.

 

“And we've also received reports of shooting at unarmed fleeing villagers. we have confirmed at least, four cases of beheadings, and multiple enforced disappearances of individuals, as well as several villages and homes that have been burned. Now, for years, the military has targeted the Rohingya and actively enforced draconian and discriminatory restrictions affecting all aspects of their lives. That has to be taken into account. and it's one of the reasons why the Rohingya, whenever they were asked to leave to Buthidaungand other villages, have been very reluctant to move because they've needed special permission to move outside of their township of residence,” Rodehaver said.

 

 

 

In Geneva

Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org  

Jeremy Laurence -  +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org

 

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STORY: Remarks by Liz Throssell and James Rodehaver on situation in Rakhine State, Myanmar

TRT: 04:34
SOURCE: UNTV / OHCHR
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: English /NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 
DATELINE:  24 May 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
 

 

 

1.     STORYLINE

 

 

2.     SOUNDBITE (English) – Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): We are receiving frightening and disturbing reports from northern Rakhine State in Myanmar of the impacts of the conflict on civilian lives and property. Some of the most serious allegations concern incidents of killing of Rohingya civilians and the burning of their property.”

3.     Cut away: Briefing room

4.     SOUNDBITE (English) – Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): An estimated 45,000 Rohingya have reportedly fled to an area on the Naf River near the border with Bangladesh seeking protection. Over one million Rohingya are already in Bangladesh, having fled past purges. The High Commissioner calls on Bangladesh and other States to provide effective protection to those seeking it, in line with international law, and to ensure international solidarity with Bangladesh in hosting Rohingya refugees in Myanmar.”

5.     Cut away: Briefing room

6.     SOUNDBITE (English) – Liz Throssell, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): We see clear and present risks of a serious expansion of violence as the battle for neighbouring Maungdaw town has begun -- where the military maintains outposts and where a large Rohingya community lives, including hundreds of displaced Rohingya who moved to town from villages seeking safety. In this appalling situation, civilians are once more victimized, killed, their properties destroyed and looted, their demands for safety and security ignored, and they are again forced to flee their homes in a recurring nightmare of suffering.”

7.     Cut away: Briefing

8.     SOUNDBITE (English) – James Rodehaver, Chief, Myanmar Team United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR): In the weeks leading up to the burning and butchered, the Myanmar team of the UN Human Rights Office has documented renewed attacks on Rohingya civilians, both by the American army and by the military, in northern Rakhine state. of course, many of these were as a result of airstrikes perpetrated by the military as well as other attacks, perpetrated by unmanned aerial vehicles of drones.

9.     Cut away: Briefing roomm

10.  SOUNDBITE (English) – James Rodehaver, Chief, Myanmar Team United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR): We over the last week have talked to many sources on the ground. We have reviewed satellite imagery. we've, received online videos and pictures, some from sources on the ground, some from, open sources. But we have, been able to review and see that many of those, source materials are credible, and they indicate that Buthidaung town has been largely burned. This, of course, is very, it is corroborated by many of the testimonies that we've taken from, victims and eyewitnesses to some of the events that occurred inside Buthidaung town, last Friday evening.”

11.  Cut away: Briefing room

12.  SOUNDBITE (English) – James Rodehaver, Chief, Myanmar Team United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR): We over the last week have talked to many sources on the ground. We have reviewed satellite imagery. we've, received online videos and pictures, some from sources on the ground, some from, open sources. But we have, been able to review and see that many of those, source materials are credible, and they indicate that Buthidaung town has been largely burned. This, of course, is very, it is corroborated by many of the testimonies that we've taken from, victims and eyewitnesses to some of the events that occurred inside Buthidaung town, last Friday evening.”

13.  Cut away: Briefing room

14.  SOUNDBITE (English) – James Rodehaver, Chief, Myanmar Team United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR): One survivor described seeing dozens of dead bodies as he fled the town. Another survivor said that he was among a group of displaced persons, numbering in the tens of thousands, who attempted to move outside of the town to safety along the western road towards Maungdaw. But they, were blocked by the Arakan army from going in that direction.”

15.  Cut away: Briefing room

16.  SOUNDBITE (English) – James Rodehaver, Chief, Myanmar Team United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR): Survivors recounted that their army had abused them and extorted money from them as they fled the town and moved through villages, where there were  AA checkpoints.”

17.  Cut away: Briefing room

18.  SOUNDBITE (English) – James Rodehaver, Chief, Myanmar Team United Nations Human Rights (OHCHR): And we've also received reports of shooting at unarmed fleeing villagers. we have confirmed at least, four cases of beheadings, and multiple enforced disappearances of individuals, as well as several villages and homes that have been burned. Now, for years, the military has targeted the Rohingya and actively enforced draconian and discriminatory restrictions affecting all aspects of their lives. That has to be taken into account. and it's one of the reasons why the Rohingya, whenever they were asked to leave to Buthidaung and other villages, have been very reluctant to move because they've needed special permission to move outside of their township of residence.”

19.  Cut away: Briefing room


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