GENEVA / HRC MYANMAR

05-Dec-2017 00:03:29
In a special session of the Human Rights Council on Myanmar today in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for an international criminal investigation of perpetrators of violence against Rohingya, saying "elements of genocide" may be present. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / HRC MYANMAR
TRT: 3:29
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 5 DECEMBER 2017 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present? Ultimately, this is a legal determination only a competent court can make. But the concerns are extremely serious, and clearly call for access to be immediately granted for further verification”.
4. Med shot, photographers
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Refusal by international as well as local actors to even name the Rohingyas as Rohingyas – to recognize them as a community and respect their right to self-identification – is yet another humiliation, and it creates a shameful paradox: they are denied a name, while being targeted for being who they are”.
6. Med shot, podium
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
”How much do people have to endure before their suffering is acknowledged and their identity and rights are recognized, by their government and by the world?”
8. Cutaway, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“We cannot afford to hear that historical and tragic refrain, one more time, that no one knew it would turn out to be like this — what a lie that would be”.
10. Medium shot, podium
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Pramila Patten, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict:
“I heard the most heart-breaking and horrific accounts of sexual atrocities reportedly committed in cold blood out of a lethal hatred for these people, solely on the basis of their ethnicity and religion. The wounds are extremely raw, dozens of women and girls dissolving to tears when recounting acts of unmitigated brutality. The acts they described were by no means isolated incidents: every women or girl I spoke with reported having either endured or witnessed sexual violence. The forms of sexual violence I consistently heard about from survivors and witnesses included rape, gang rape by multiple soldiers, forced public nudity and humiliation and sexual slavery in military captivity”.
12. Med shot, podium
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Htinn Lynn, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the United nations::
“Myanmar is fully prepared to work with all international partners on a pragmatic and helpful approach to issue in Rakhine State including voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation as well as resettlement of those people displaced”.
14. Med shot, delegates
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Kelley Currie, US Representative on the UN Economic and social Council:
“The United States and other countries have deemed this to be a calculated campaign of ethnic cleansing. As we have heard today facts continue to come to light describing the events of recent months as possible pre-meditated including actions taken well before August 25. These are neither isolated nor unprecedented behaviors by the Tahmador. UN bodies have documented decades of similar systematic abuses against ethnic communities across Myanmar”.
16. Wide shot, delegates
STORYLINE
In a special session of the Human Rights Council on Myanmar today in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called for an international criminal investigation of perpetrators of violence against Rohingya, saying "elements of genocide" may be present.

Zeid asked “can anyone rule out that elements of genocide may be present?

Regarding the possibility that these abuses may constitute "elements of genocide", Zeid said that it " is a legal determination only a competent court can make. But the concerns are extremely serious, and clearly call for access to be immediately granted for further verification”.

Decades of statelessness imposed on the Rohingya, along with policies of dehumanising discrimination and segregation, horrific violence and abuse, and the wholesale destruction of Rohingya villages, were all issues cited by High Commissioner as being elements for criminal investigation.

Teams from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have met in Bangladesh with credible witnesses reporting acts of appalling barbarity committed against the Rohingya, including deliberately burning people to death inside their homes, murders of children and adults, indiscriminate shooting of fleeing civilians, and widespread rapes of women and girls.

The High Commissioner had reported to both the Human Rights Council and the Security Council about the persistent allegations of serious human rights violations by security forces. Prosecutions for the violence and rapes against Rohingyas “appear extremely rare”, however, he said.

Zeid said “refusal by international as well as local actors to even name the Rohingyas as Rohingyas – to recognise them as a community and respect their right to self-identification – is yet another humiliation, and it creates a shameful paradox: they are denied a name, while being targeted for being who they are.”

The High Commissioner said “we cannot afford to hear that historical and tragic refrain, one more time, that no one knew it would turn out to be like this — what a lie that would be,” he added.

Pramila Patten, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, who interviewed survivors in Bangladesh in November said “I heard the most heart-breaking and horrific accounts of sexual atrocities reportedly committed in cold blood out of a lethal hatred for these people, solely on the basis of their ethnicity and religion. The wounds are extremely raw, dozens of women and girls dissolving to tears when recounting acts of unmitigated brutality,.”

Patten added "the acts they described were by no means isolated incidents: every women or girl I spoke with reported having either endured or witnessed sexual violence. The forms of sexual violence I consistently heard about from survivors and witnesses included rape, gang rape by multiple soldiers, forced public nudity and humiliation and sexual slavery in military captivity.”

UN Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN Htinn Lynn said at today’s Human Rights Council session that it was finalizing a bilateral arrangement with Bangladesh to ensure the return of Rohingya refugees.

He said that “Myanmar is fully prepared to work with all international partners on a pragmatic and helpful approach to issue in Rakhine State including voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation as well as resettlement of those people displaced”.

Kelley Currie, US Representative of the UN Economic and Social Council said “the United States and other countries have deemed this to be a calculated campaign of ethnic cleansing. As we have heard today facts continue to come to light describing the events of recent months as possible pre-meditated including actions taken well before August 25. These are neither isolated nor unprecedented behaviors by the Tahmador”.

From October until 2 December 2017, an estimated 626,000 refugees – more than half the estimated total number of Rohingya living in Rahkhine State – has fled to Bangladesh.
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