Media Release from Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
For immediate release: 17th January 2021
Rohingyas, as victims of genocide, urge UK Members of Parliament to vote for Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill on Tuesday
Ever since the Burma Army’s military offensive against Rohingya civilians in 2016, and its more systematic, widespread and egregious campaign in 2017, experts around the world have called for recognition of the genocide against the Rohingya people.
The Gambia is pursuing a case at the International Court of Justice, and a number of other initiatives are underway.
It is not enough for the British government to leave it to The Gambia and take no effective action itself. The UK, as penholder on Burma at the United Nations Security Council, is supposed to lead the world in responding to international crimes in Burma. With a crime as serious as genocide, everything that can be done must be done.
So we warmly welcome the decision by the British House of Lords to pass, last December, by a majority of 287 over 161, an amendment to the trade bill that creates a mechanism to refer genocide claims to the High Court of England and Wales, and the requirement – if the amendment is passed – for trade negotiations to cease trade deals with regimes that are convicted, by a court of law in the United Kingdom, of genocide.
This Tuesday this amendment comes to the House of Commons. We urge every Member of the House of Commons to vote for this.
“It has literally been business as usual for the British government at the same time as genocide has taken place against us,” says Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK).
“Words have failed, now is the time for action. We have seen no significant change in Burmese government policy towards the Rohingya. The genocide is ongoing. If the UK and other governments continue doing business as usual with Burma, it will mean genocide as usual for the Rohingya. I urge every MP to vote for this amendment on Tuesday.”
For more information, please contact Tun Khin +44 (0)7888714866