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Myanmar refuses entry to UN team probing Rohingya abuses including killings, rape and torture Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Myanmar refuses entry to UN team probing Rohingya abuses including killings, rape and torture

Rohingya Muslims have been described as one of the world's most persecuted people. [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 June, 2017

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Myanmar says it will refuse entry to members of a United Nations probe investigating alleged killings, rape, and torture by security forces against the beleaguered Rohingya Muslim community.
Myanmar says it will refuse entry to members of a United Nations probe investigating alleged killings, rape, and torture by security forces against the beleaguered Rohingya Muslim community.

The government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, already stated in March that it would not cooperate with a mission set up after a Human Rights Council resolution was adopted that month.

"If they are going to send someone with regards to the fact-finding mission, then there's no reason for us to let them come," said Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to Reuters.

"Our missions worldwide are advised accordingly," he said, adding that Myanmar would not issue visas for the UN mission’s appointees or staff.

Suu Kyi came to power last year amid a transition from military rule but has been heavily criticised for failing to acknowledge the mass persecution of more than one million stateless Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine.

The Rohingya, viewed as illegal immigrants in the Buddhist-majority country, first came to global attention in 2012 after government officials, community leaders, and Buddhist monks coordinated attacks against the community.

More than 125,000 Rohingya were forcibly displaced during the violence. Last year, some 75,000 Rohingya fled north-western Rakhine state to Bangladesh after Myanmar's army carried out security operations in the state.

A UN report in February said the army's actions involved mass killings and gang rapes, amounting to crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar insists that a domestic investigation headed by former lieutenant general and Vice President Myint Swe is sufficient to look into the allegations in Rakhine.

"Why do they try to use unwarranted pressure when the domestic mechanisms have not been exhausted?" said Myanmar’s foreign affairs minister Kyaw Zeya, Reuters reported.

The United Nations has described the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar as one of the world's most persecuted people.

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