UN rights chief criticizes Myanmar ‘ethnic cleansing’ at opening of Human Rights Council session

UN rights chief criticizes Myanmar ‘ethnic cleansing’ at opening of Human Rights Council session

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called [press release] the situation in Myanmar “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing” at the opening of the UN Human Rights Council’s 36th regular session [press release] Monday.

During his oral presentation, Zeid addressed a lack of consistency in human rights policies, EU nonuniform voice in global human rights, and specifically addressed issues in several countries.

According to Zeid, in Myanmar, there is another brutal security operation being conducted in Rakhine State with blatant disregard for international law. Those same forces and local militias are burning Rohingya villages. In less than three weeks, more than 270,000 people fled to Bangladesh. However, authorities are placing landmines along the border. India is implementing measures to deport Rohingyas; about 40,000 Rohingyas have migrated to India with only 16,000 of them receiving refugee documentation. India has also opposed engagement with the human rights office and instead encouraged ill-treatment of minorities.

Zeid also noted that last month in Venezuela there was a report of security forces using excessive force against anti-government protestors. In Turkey, the human rights effort is deteriorating as freedom of speech and information access is being restricted.

Zeid also voiced concern about President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, stating that it has had a positive impact on young migrants.