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Burma: Fact-finding mission is welcome and urgently needed

An internationally-mandated fact-finding mission to look at human rights violations in Burma is welcome, urgently needed and long overdue, Amnesty International said today.

Champa Patel, Amnesty’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

“The announcement of an independent international fact-finding mission to look into human rights violations in Burma is long overdue.

“After the Burmese government’s failure to establish a credible investigation into the security forces’ crimes against the Rohingya in northern Rakhine State, there is an urgent need for a team of international experts to examine alleged violations there, in Kachin and in northern Shan State.

“The Burma government should welcome the fact-finding mission and assist it in every possible way with its work.

“The world has a right to know the full truth of events after Amnesty International and the UN both found that human rights violations against the Rohingya may amount to crimes against humanity.”

The UN Human Rights Council should immediately appoint members of the team so they can start their work as soon as possible.

Members should be selected on the basis of their demonstrated independence, qualifications, relevant experience and their availability to begin work at the earliest opportunity. Amnesty hopes women will strongly be represented on the fact-finding team.

Given the multiple reports that security forces raped women and girls in Rakhine State, the fact-finding team should include experts in sexual and gender-based violence as well as on child rights, as well as researchers who are trained in approaching victims with due sensitivity.

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