GENEVA / MYANMAR UPDATE

17-Sep-2019 00:03:58
Human rights violations against Myanmar’s ethnic minorities are continuing, top UN-appointed independent experts said on Tuesday, insisting that those responsible for abuses would face justice. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / MYANMAR UPDATE
TRT: 3:58
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 17 SEPTEMBER 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations, Geneva.
2. Wide shot, journalists and podium speakers
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar:
“The violence in Rakhine is escalating and there are credible reports of Rakhine men being tortured and dying in custody and Rakhine villages being burned. The Rohingya who are still in Rakhine remain confined to camps in central Rakhine and within the few Rohingya villages left in northern Rakhine.”
4. Wide shot, journalists listening, taking photos
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Yanghee Lee, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar:
“The context of Myanmar is severe and warrants continued and sustained international action. Our comprehensive monitoring and public reporting remain warranted and accountability must be brought about by the international community to bring about justice for victims.”
6. Wide shot, podium with speakers
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Marzuki Darusman, Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:
“The high point in our last - in our previous report - was of course the mention of the six generals; they are still around, some of them. Some of them have stepped down of course and moved on to other places, but the top dog is still there, the Commander-in-Chief, in spite of everything.”
8. Med shot, journalists.
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Marzuki Darusman, Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:
“We also seen the evolution of the Tatmadaw strategy and that is to add on the infamous cuts of cutting funding, cutting food, cutting recruits and intelligence of insurgent groups (there is) an additional fifth cut, and that is cutting information.”
10. Med shot, onlooker.
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Chris Sidoti, Member of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:
“Their links within the jade, ruby and gem industry are extensive such that it would appear that they control 90 per cent of that industry.”
12. Med shot, podium with speakers.
13. SOUNDBITE (English), Chris Sidoti, Member of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:
“But looking specifically at Rakhine state, the military is engaged with the support of business in some instances. In the results of the clearance operations, the completion of the act of a forcible deportation, and that is the razing of the villages, the construction of roads and of new military camps and of housing for a non-Rohingya population - part of the exercise of changing the demographic face of northern Rakhine state”.
14. Close up, journalist
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Chris Sidoti, Member of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:
“The single best indicator of when return can take place is when the 600,000 who remain are living in a situation where there they have full human rights, the lot. Then we know the return can take place.”
16. Med shot, photographer.
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Marzuki Darusman, Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:
“It’s probably the case that Mrs Aung San Suu Kyi may not be knowledgeable about what took place in August. But the issue now is that there was no further addressing of the issue on her part. So it will become a legal issue whether or not, there is an element of culpability here.”
18. Med shot, observers.
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Chris Sidoti, Member of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar:
“It’s not as though we’re waiting 40 years while we recognize that as I say, this is agonizingly slow, but it has begun and the authorities in Myanmar need to know, it has started; this is not something that we are waiting for, it has started.”
20. Wide shot, podium speakers.
21. Med shot, journalist listening with earpiece.
STORYLINE
Human rights violations against Myanmar’s ethnic minorities are continuing, top UN-appointed independent experts said on Tuesday (17 Sep), insisting that those responsible for abuses would face justice.

Briefing journalists in Geneva, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, cited the involvement of the Myanmar military in operations against Rohingya communities in Rakhine state:

“The violence in Rakhine is escalating and there are credible reports of Rakhine men being tortured and dying in custody and Rakhine villages being burned,” she said. “The Rohingya who are still in Rakhine remain confined to camps in central Rakhine and within the few Rohingya villages left in northern Rakhine.”

On Monday (16 Sep), UN-appointed independent investigators told the Human Rights Council that hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya still in Myanmar may face a greater threat of genocide than ever, amid Government attempts to “erase their identity and remove them from the country”.

In a report detailing alleged violations in Myanmar over the last year, the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission insists that many of the conditions that led to “killings, rapes and gang rapes, torture, forced displacement and other grave rights violations” by the country’s military that prompted some 700,000 Rohingya to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh in 2017, are still present.

Highlighting the need for accountability for those responsible for the abuses, Lee insisted that the context of Myanmar “is severe and warrants continued and sustained international action. Our comprehensive monitoring and public reporting remain warranted and accountability must be brought about by the international community to bring about justice for victims.”

Echoing the Special Rapporteur’s comments, Marzuki Darusman, Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, added that some of the six generals identified in the panel’s previous report “are still around”.

Some of them had “stepped down”, he added, “but the top dog is still there, in reference to Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing, “in spite of everything”.

The methods employed by the Tatmadaw to defeat the separatist Arakan Army in Rakhine state had evolved into shutting down the internet in several townships, Darusman explained.

“To add on the infamous cuts of cutting funding, cutting food, cutting recruits and intelligence of insurgent groups (there is) an additional fifth cut, and that is cutting information,” he said.

Chris Sidoti, Member of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, also described the extent of the Tatmadaw’s business interests, alleging that it had two major holding companies, in excess of 100 subsidiaries and another 30 companies controlled by the military directly or indirectly.

“Their links within the jade, ruby and gem industry are extensive such that it would appear that they control 90 per cent of that industry,” he added. Focusing on Rakhine state, Sidoti insisted that after the military clearance operations of 2017 that prompted 700,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh, the Tatmadaw had been involved in “changing the demographic face of northern Rakhine state”, by razing homes and building houses for non-Rohingya communities.

Rejecting the possibility that any of the exiled Rohingya could return to their homes, he added that “the single best indicator of when return can take place is when the 600,000 who remain are living in a situation where there they have full human rights, the lot. Then we know the return can take place.”

Asked about the responsibility of Myanmar premier Aung San Suu Kyi, Darusman said that it was probable that she “may not be knowledgeable” about the military clearance operations in August 2017. “But the issue now is that there was no further addressing of the issue on her part. So, it will become a legal issue whether or not, there is an element of culpability here.”

The development comes as the International Court of Justice prepares to rule on whether a formal investigation can be launched into the circumstances leading to the 2017 exodus, Mr. Sidoti explained.

“It’s not as though we’re waiting 40 years while we recognize that as I say, this is agonizingly slow,” he said. “But it has begun and the authorities in Myanmar need to know, it has started; this is not something that we are waiting for, it has started.”
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