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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Myanmar, in particular the situation of Rohingyas

12.9.2017 - (2017/2838(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Elena Valenciano, Victor Boştinaru, Soraya Post, Neena Gill on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0525/2017

Postupak : 2017/2838(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Myanmar, in particular the situation of Rohingyas


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Myanmar and on the situation of Rohingya Muslims, in particular that of 7 July 2016 and 14 December 2016, and that of 15 March 2017 on EU priorities for the UN Human Rights Council sessions in 2017;

-having regard to the Council conclusions on the EU strategy with Myanmar/Burma of 20 June 2016;

-having regard to the joint communication by the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the European Parliament and the Council, entitled ‘Elements for an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma: A Special Partnership for Democracy, Peace and Prosperity’;

-having regard to the statement by Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) Federica Mogherini on the entry into office of the new Government of the Union of Myanmar;

having regard to the Statement by the Spokesperson on the recent escalation of violence in Myanmar of 2 December 2016;

having regard to the joint press release on the third EU-Myanmar Human Rights Dialogue of 25 November 2016;

having regard to the Council conclusions on Statelessness of 4 December 2015;

having regard to the recent briefings of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar of 29 and 18 November 2016 respectively, on the deteriorating human rights situation in northern Rakhine State;

having regard to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights entitled ‘Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar’, of 20 June 2016 and to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar of 18 March 2016;

having regard to the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto;

having regard to the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness;

having regard to the UNHCR Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness;

having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948;

having regard to the Final Report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State;

having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966;

having regard to the ASEAN Charter;

having regard to Rules 135(5).

A. Whereas the Rakhine State in Myanmar in home to approximately one million Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim minority group facing repression and continued serious human rights violations; whereas the Rohingya are largely confined to camps and denied full citizenship rights with an arbitrary deprivation of nationality, which renders them stateless, and leads to severe restrictions of freedom of movement, threats to life and security, denial of the rights to health and education, forced labour, sexual violence and limitations on their political rights;

B. Whereas in August 2017, a reported 700 buildings were burned in the Rohingya Muslim inhabited village of Chein Khar Li in the northern part of the Rakhine State, almost destroying it in its entirety;

C. whereas human rights organisations, notably Human Rights Watch, using satellite imagery, have reported large-scale destruction of homes and other buildings in parts of northern Rakhine State currently inaccessible to NGOs and independent observers;

D. whereas the burnings followed a series of coordinated attacks by ethnic Rohingya militants of the Arakan Rohingya Salavation Army (ARSA) on 25th August 2017, against Burmese authorities; whereas dozens of people were killed in the clashes between militants and security forces, including 12 Myanmar security forces; whereas the attacks have triggered a crackdown, allegedly military, which led to widespread allegations of killings, rape and torture and burning of villages of the Rohingyas, as well as their exodus into Bangladesh;

E. whereas since August 25, a reported 270 000 Rohingyas have fled for safety in neighbouring Bangladesh, including women and children; whereas those fleeing pass through treacherous routes, facing gun fires, dangerous paths, as well as starvation and lack of medical assistance; whereas dozens, including women and children, have died en route; whereas Bangladesh coast guards have found the bodies of at least 20 people fleeing;

F. whereas many of those who fled have claimed that the Burmese military and police had burned down their homes and carried out armed attacks on their villages;

G. whereas Bangladesh has lodged a complaint against the Myanmar authorities over laying landmines across a section of its border with Bangladesh which would prevent the return of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence;

H. whereas the authorities in Bangladesh have allegedly been refusing entry and pushing back many fleeing Rohingyas, leaving them trapped in an unoccupied zone between the two countries;

I. whereas UN agencies are reported to continue to be blocked in delivering humanitarian aid, including food, water and medicine to the Rohingya;

J. whereas China and Russia blocked the adoption of a statement by the UN Security Council on the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar in March 2017.

1. Strongly condemns all attacks in the Rakhine State; is gravely concerned about the increasing gravity and scale of human rights violations, including killings, destruction of civilian property, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians; expresses its sympathy and support to the Rohingya people;

2. Is extremely concerned at the violent clashes and burning of homes in the northern Rakhine State; deplores the loss of lives, livelihoods and shelter and alleged serious abuse by the security forced of Myanmar; recalls that the Myanmar authorities have a duty to protect, without discrimination, all civilians from abuse, and to investigate grievous human rights violations and prosecute those responsible, in accordance with human rights standards and obligations;

3. Calls on the authorities of Myanmar to grant immediate and unhindered access to independent monitors, notably the UN Fact-Finding Mission established by the UN Human Rights Council in March, to ensure independent and impartial investigations into allegations of serious human rights violations by all parties;

4. Calls once again upon the military and security forces to immediately cease the killings, harassment and rape of the Rohingya people, and the burning of their homes;

5. Demands once again that the authorities of Myanmar immediately end the terrible discrimination and segregation of the Rohingya minority; reiterates its call for humanitarian aid to be able to reach all conflict areas and displaced people without discrimination; calls on the Government of Myanmar to condemn unequivocally all incitement to racial or religious hatred and to combat social discrimination and hostilities against the Rohingya minority; calls, furthermore, on the Government of Myanmar to uphold the universal right to freedom of religion or belief;

6. Acknowledges the effort by Bangladesh to facilitate protection for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees; supports and welcomes the efforts of the border police of Bangladesh; strongly encourages the authorities of Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries to admit all those fleeing violence in the Rakhine State, to cease pushbacks which place civilians’ lives at further risk, and to respect the principle of non-refoulement; recalls its recommendation that the governments of the countries that cope with the influx of Rohingya refugees cooperate closely with the UNHCR, which has the technical expertise to screen for refugee status and the mandate to protect refugees and stateless people; calls on the EU and UN to support neighbouring countries in this regard;

7. Calls furthermore on ASEAN and regional governments to take immediate action to increase pressure on the Myanmar government to halt rights abuses and protect all civilians in Rakhine State; and to support Bangladesh in receiving refugees fleeing from Rakhine state;

8. Calls on Sakharov Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn all serious human rights violations against the Rohingya minority and calls upon her once again use her key position in the Government of Myanmar to improve the situation of the Rohingya minority, as well as to put an immediate end to the military crackdown and human rights breaches inflicted upon the Rohingya; reminds the State Counsellor to push for the implementation of the recommendations given in the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, which was established upon her own request; recalls the statement of 18 May 2015 by the spokesperson of Ms Suu Kyi’s party that the Government of Myanmar should restore citizenship to the Rohingya minority; urges Aung San Suu Kyi to refrain from using language that risks inciting further hate against the Rohingyas as well as aid organisations;

9. Supports efforts to intensify a political process based on implementing the Annan recommendations; calls on the United States Security Council and the General Assembly to adopt effective diplomatic and political measures to ensure compliance by the Government of Myanmar with its obligations vis a vis the Rohingya minority in terms of ensuring protection and access to aid; calls in this regard for a resolution of the UN General Assembly and Security Council condemning abuses, insisting on access to Rakhine State and demanding accountability for serious violations of international law by all parties; further calls for a resolution at the September UN Human Rights Council extending of the mandate of the Fact-Finding Mission;

10. Encourages the main international supporters of the parties, in particular China and other regional actors, to use all diplomatic channels to demand an end to the violence;

11. Calls on the European External Action Service the EU High Representative, and EU Member States to significantly enhance their pressure on the Myanmar government and security forces to halt rights abuses, fully cooperate with UN investigators and international humanitarian agencies, and ensure accountability for grave violations of internal law; calls in this regard for the EU High Representative and EU Member States to take an active role in supporting immediate action at UN level and making clear that the EU stands ready to consider targeted punitive sanctions against individuals and entities should grave violations in international law continue with impunity;

12. Calls on the EU High Representative to report back to the European Parliament regarding EU initiatives at the UN and in the context of the EU Foreign Affairs Council;

13. Calls on the EU and its Member States to welcome reporting and statements from representatives of the Rohingya on the situation on the ground;

14. Supports efforts to have independent and UN-led monitors on the ground to alleviate the humanitarian crisis; calls for the EU to support the UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations in their efforts to assist and protect the rights of Rohingya refugees in the South and Southeast Asia region;

15. Calls on the EU and its Member States to support the UNHCR Global 2014-24 Action Plan to End Statelessness;


16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of Myanmar, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the EU Member States, the Secretary General of ASEAN, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Human Rights Council.