US Senators introduce bill to probe whether Myanmar attacks on Rohingya constituted genocide
By Valeria Negron | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US, Jurist
A group of 10 US senators led by Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced legislation Wednesday that would require Secretary of State Antony Blinken to investigate Myanmar’s military attacks on the Rohingya minority and decide whether they constitute genocide.
Since 2017, more than 750,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh hoping to escape the military’s systemic killing of their people, says the legislation. The bill points to the documented history of the attacks, which have been investigated by the UN, the Department of State and the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (IIFFMM). In 2018, the IIFFMM stated that they “ha[d] reasonable grounds to conclude 5 that the evidence that infers genocidal intent on the part of the State, identified in its last report, has strengthened that there is a serious risk that genocidal actions may occur or recur.”
The alleged genocide is even more worrisome in light of the military coup currently ongoing in Myanmar and “further underscores the importance of the United States speaking out forcefully against human rights violations when they occur.”
The legislation urges Blinken to complete his assessment of the situation within 90 days and includes a detailed description of the situation as well as recommendations on what steps the US government should take in response to the human rights violations currently ongoing in Myanmar.
Markey added, “The Rohingya people will not be able to start the path towards justice, equality, or full representation until we recognize the crimes committed against them for what they were–genocide. I urge the Biden administration to complete the determination process as quickly as possible as justice delayed is justice denied.”