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Rights group urges Myanmar to end persecution of Muslim minority

[JURIST] The government of Myanmar [JURIST news archive] must stop systematically persecuting the Rohingya Muslim minority [BBC profile], and neighboring states should offer assistance to refugees, according to an open letter [text, PDF] sent Friday by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website]. In a letter to the governments of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand, AI called for Myanmar to end persection against the Rohingya minority, calling it the "root cause of the crisis." AI also called on surrounding states to fulfill their obligations under the UN International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) [IMO backgrounders], and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) [text], by offering aid to Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar by sea. AI also called on all states to ratify the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, its 1967 Protocol, and the UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons [texts].

Last month, the UN General Assembly [official website] adopted a resolution [press release; JURIST report] criticizing human rights violations in Myanmar. In June, The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] criticized the government of Myanmar [JURIST report] for its continued human rights abuses and refusal to cooperate with humanitarian groups. The resolution called on the Myanmar government to free political prisoners, stop recruiting child soldiers, and to implement earlier UNHRC resolutions [S-5/1 text, PDF] regarding the country's human rights situation. The UNHRC passed a similar resolution [press release; JURIST report] in March condemning the Myanmar government for continuous abuses of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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