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Procedure : 2019/2822(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0091/2019

Texts tabled :

B9-0091/2019

Debates :

PV 19/09/2019 - 4.2
CRE 19/09/2019 - 4.2

Votes :

PV 19/09/2019 - 7.2

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2019)0018

<Date>{17/09/2019}17.9.2019</Date>
<NoDocSe>B9‑0091/2019</NoDocSe>
PDF 160kWORD 55k

<TitreType>MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION</TitreType>

<TitreSuite>with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>


<Titre>on Myanmar, notably the situation of the Rohingya</Titre>

<DocRef>(2019/2822(RSP))</DocRef>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Marisa Matias, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Pernando Barrena Arza, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Konstantinos Arvanitis, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Stelios Kouloglou, Manuel Bompard, Younous Omarjee</Depute>

<Commission>{GUE/NGL}on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group</Commission>

</RepeatBlock-By>

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0050/2019
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

B9‑0091/2019

European Parliament resolution on Myanmar, notably the situation of the Rohingya

(2019/2822(RSP))

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of the Rohingya,

 

-  having regard to Council Decisions of 29 April 2019 concerning restrictive measures against Myanmar/Burma,

 

-  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the 1966 International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto; the New York Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women and peace and security,

 

-  having regard to the Statement by the UN experts concerned by incommunicado detention and torture of ethnic Rakhine men and boys on 3 September 2019,

 

-  having regard to the Statement by the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar Calls for Justice for Victims of Sexual and Gender-based Violence on 22 August 2019, and the Statement on Myanmar exposes military business ties, calls for targeted sanctions and arms embargoes on 5 August 2019,

 

-  having regard to the Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on Situation of human rights in Myanmar, on 22 March 2019,

 

-  having regard to the Statement by the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore on 10 July 2019,

 

-  having regard to the Oral Update to 41st Session of the Human Rights Council by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, on 3 July 2019,

 

-  having regard to Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

 

 

A.  whereas the Rohingya constitute the world’s largest group of stateless persons; whereas the persecution, violence and discrimination against this Muslim minority continue to intensify in Myanmar/Burma;

 

B.  whereas last 23 August was the sad anniversary of the Myanmar security forces’ assault on hundreds of Rohingya villages in 2017; whereas this anniversary was the occasion for international community to be remembered the continued failure to hold to account those responsible for slaughters, rapes, torched villages and repression of Rohingya civilians;

 

C.  whereas since August 2017, more than 700,000 Rohingya, fled extrajudicial killings, rape, torture and arson from Myanmar army, police or Buddhist paramilitary and sought refuge in Bangladesh, one the planet’s poorest region; whereas the reports and updates from OHCHR, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, and the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, all point to a pattern of gross human rights violations which suggest a widespread and systematic attack against the Rohingya community by the Myanmar military and security forces

 

D.  whereas the final report from the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM)  published on 22 August 2019, concludes that the sexual violence perpetrated against women, girls, boys, men and transgender people by the Burmese military was part of a strategy to intimidate, terrorize and punish the country's ethnic minorities; whereas the Mission said the brutal tactic was still being employed in Kachin and Shan states;

 

E.  whereas the efforts of the humanitarian community under the leadership of the Government of Bangladesh have improved the conditions of refugee camps, strengthened the prevention of monsoon risk and helped control disease outbreaks, however, insecurity and lack of protection are increasingly worrying; whereas after a failed attempt to repatriate refugees to Myanmar, a large demonstration of Rohingya refugees on August 25 and the murders of a local politician and four refugees, Bangladesh has stepped up restrictive measures against the Rohingya population such as restrictions on freedom of movement and access of Rohingya refugees to the Internet and online communications, and increased militarization of camps;

 

F.  whereas since the repatriation agreement signed in November 2017, the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar have announced their plans to begin returning Rohingya refugees to Myanmar; whereas both repatriation plans, in November 2018 and August 2019, were cancelled due to the lack of consultation with the Rohingya population and the lack of guarantees, by Myanmar, for a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return;

 

G.  whereas according to 2018 Annual report of the UNHCHR, any returns should be “safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable […] including assurance of non-occurrence of violence, assurance on rights, including citizenship and mobility, or assurance of accountability of perpetrators and justice for victims,” and planned “in consultation with the populations concerned and in accordance with international law and standards, with international oversight and monitoring and with the free and informed participation of refugee communities”;

 

H.  whereas the Myanmar military and other armed groups are committing serious crimes of human rights and international humanitarian law in the conflict zones of the Shan and Kachin States, and in the central and southern part of Rakhine State;

 

I.  whereas the ongoing fighting between the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) and the Arakan Army, which has escalated since January 2019, are bearing all ethnic minorities and communities in Rakhine and Chin States; whereas Amnesty International has currently documented serious abuses – including war crimes – by the Myanmar military, including unlawful attacks, arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and forced labour; whereas UN experts have received reports regarding at least 15 deaths in custody of men alleged to be associates of the Arakan Army; whereas the fighting has displaced more than 46,000 people in Rakhine and southern Chin States and Burmese authorities have blocked humanitarian aid access to affected areas;

 

J.  whereas on 21 June 2019, the authorities imposed a shutdown of the internet in none conflict-affected townships in Rakhine and Chin States; whereas the shutdown was partially lifted on 31 August 2019, however remains in place in four townships; whereas it has made it increasingly difficult to document and verify new abuses and monitor the situation of Rohingya who remain in Rakhine State;

 

K.  whereas 600,000 Rohingya remain in Rakhine State; whereas they are confined in camps and villages, where the security forces restrict their freedom of movement and the authorities deprive them of access to sustainable livelihoods and basic humanitarian services, including adequate food, medical care and education; whereas around 128,000 Muslims, 125,000 Rohingyas and 3,000 Kamans internally displaced, have been detained for the last seven years in outdoor detention camps without access to adequate livelihoods or basic services;

 

L.  whereas according to a report by the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy,  the authorities are demolishing the Rohingya villages that had previously burned, and building bases for the army and possible repatriation centres; whereas new roads and structures are also being built on burned Rohingyas lands and villages, reducing the likelihood that refugees will return to their homes; whereas the destruction of the Rohingya villages and the environment may be contributing to the destruction of evidence of crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya population, which could impede future investigations;

 

M.  whereas deeply rooted and institutionalized discrimination and segregation against Rohingyas is amounting to apartheid; whereas reforms to address this are unlikely to happen while the Burmese army still wields disproportionate power over the country’s affairs; whereas certain articles of the Constitution enshrine impunity for military and civilian leaders;

 

N.  whereas journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, condemned to 7 years in jail have been released; whereas in Myanmar there are other cases of intimidation and restriction of the freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly and people arrested for criticising the military or charged with reporting on military abuses; whereas on 29 August 2019, Filmmaker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi was sentenced to one year in prison for criticising the Myanmar military in a series of Facebook posts; whereas Ethnic Rakhine journalist Aung Marm Oo is in hiding after being accused of violating Myanmar’s Unlawful Associations Act, after reporting on violations during the conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army;

 

O.  whereas Myanmar continues to deny that these rights violations ever occurred; whereas the high military commanders who supervised the attacks against the Rohingya population remain in their posts; whereas the authorities refuse to cooperate with the UN mechanisms;

 

P.  whereas, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court  ruled on the 6 September 2018 that the Court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged forcible transfer and deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh ; whereas the Chamber considered the element of this crime that legally occurred on the territory of Bangladesh which is a State party to the Statute;

 

Q.  whereas on 29 April, the EU Council prolonged the EU's arms embargo on Myanmar and prohibited the provision of military training to, and military cooperation with, the Myanmar army; whereas EU has imposed individual sanctions to 14 individuals for serious human rights violations, or association with such violations, committed against the Rohingya population, ethnic minority villagers or civilians in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States;

 

R.  whereas the report by FFM urged the international community to sever ties with Myanmar’s military and the vast web of companies it controls and relies on; whereas the Mission consider the revenues the military earns from domestic and foreign business deals substantially enhances its ability to carry out gross violations of human rights with impunity;

 

 

  1. Strongly condemns once again the attacks in Myanmar against the Rohingya, which according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights amount to ethnic cleansing;
  2. Expresses its deep concern as the ongoing discrimination, severe restrictions on movement and deprivation of basic services imposed on the remaining 600,000 Rohingya confined to camps and villages in Rakhine State; calls to authorities to remove all restrictions on freedom of movement imposed on the Rohingya, and ensure they have equal access to citizenship rights;
  3. Draws attention to the discrimination against other minorities in Myanmar/Burma (Tamil, Hindu, Kaman, Chinese, etc.); considers that the 1982 citizenship law provides fertile ground for division by introducing the iniquitous concept of different citizenship ‘statuses’, as well as selective application, with multiple levels of bureaucracy and endemic corruption;
  4. Expresses deep concerns about the ongoing conflict in Rakhine, Chin, Shan and Kachin States; calls on the military and on all armed groups involved to protect all civilians notably ethnic minorities, without discrimination and to halt indiscriminate attacks and other violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Rakhine, Chin, Shan, and Kachin States;
  5. Urges the Burmese authorities to allow full and unhindered access to Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States for international observers and human rights and humanitarian organisations, including UN agencies and international NGOs, and to lift the internet blackout in the remaining four townships;
  6. Condemns all forms of violence against women and recalls that they constitute a serious violation of the human rights and dignity of women and girls; urges the Burmese authorities to carry out an immediate, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations against the security forces for the use of violence, intimidation and other forms of abuse against women;
  7. Calls on the Burmese authorities to suspend immediately from frontline duties anyone suspected of responsibility for crimes under international law and other serious violations of international human rights law;
  8. Insists that conditions in Rakhine State will not be conducive for safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable returns until the Burmese authorities ends segregation and discrimination, lifts restrictions of freedom of movement, and guarantees citizenship and full rights to the Rohingya people; stresses the need to respect the principle of non-refoulement in all circumstances;
  9. Condemns all acts of intimidation, harassment or restriction of freedom of expression, notably by the Myanmar military and security forces, as well as other authorities; underlines that media freedom and critical journalism are essential pillars of democracy, promoting good governance, transparency and accountability; and recommends on Burmese authorities to repeal, review or amend laws which criminalise and violate the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association;
  10. Calls on the Burmese authorities to release and drop charges against all those facing imprisonment simply for the peaceful exercise of their human rights;
  11. Reiterates its call for taking immediate action to ensure the safety and protection of human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers receiving death threats and other forms of harassment and intimidation;
  12. Reminds its support to the full implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State; underlines that education and access to social services for all have been pointed out as a crucial tool to fight communal tensions, hatred and prejudices; 
  13. Commends the efforts undertaken by the government and people of Bangladesh to provide refuge to Rohingya refugees; expresses concern about recent attacks on Rohingya refugees and increasing constraints placed on the community, and calls on the authorities of Bangladesh to lift restrictions on access to the internet and online communications, as well as freedom of movement;
  14. Calls for further international support to those communities hosting the refugees, including by addressing domestic social, educational, economic and healthcare challenges;
  15. Welcomes, the establishment of the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011 to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings; calls on the EU, its member states and the international community to ensure the body has all necessary political, logistical and financial support to execute its mandate; recalls that genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes must not go unpunished;
  16. Urges the Burmese authorities to cooperate fully with the IIMM, the UN Fact-Finding Mission, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, and the UNHCHR, including by allowing unfettered access throughout the country, so that they may investigate all allegations of crimes under international law and human rights violations and abuses;
  17. Calls on Myanmar/Burma to ratify five of the eight key agreements already signed, in particular the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  18. Calls on the EU and its member states to lead on a strong resolution at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council, which ensures follow up on the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar;
  19. Calls on the UN Security Council to impose a global comprehensive arms embargo on Myanmar, suspending all direct and indirect supply, sale or transfer, including transit and transhipment, of all weapons, munitions and other military and security equipment, as well as the provision of training or other military and security assistance;
  20. Calls on all companies on ground to act responsibly and disclose the steps they take to avoid contributing to human rights violations in a high-risk environment; supports the work of the United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group "to develop an international legally binding instrument that regulates, within the framework of international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other companies"; urges the EU institutions and the Member States to work fully towards this objective, in particular its binding nature;
  21. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of Myanmar/Burma, the ASEAN Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the General Assembly of the United Nations.

 

Last updated: 17 September 2019Legal notice