Bob Gordon, Ethical Action Committee
The American Ethical Union (AEU) abhors the actions of the government of Myanmar, which is committing genocide of their Rohingya population. Despite periodic surges of attention to this crisis, little concrete action has been taken to end the suffering and persecution of the Rohingya people, and over 500,000 of them have fled Myanmar. In June 2016, the International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU) sent a letter of alarm to the UN’s General Assembly, urging the UN to “establish an independent investigation to investigate the alleged violations of international human rights and religious discrimination towards the Rohingyas” and demanding action by the government of Myanmar to end the violence. The UN did not begin official investigations until March 2017, and the pace of the international response has not kept up with the dire need of the Rohingya people. In their article, “In Myanmar, 5 Steps to Stop the Slaughter” Amnesty International details the severity of this crisis as it has escalated over the last few weeks:
Now Amnesty International has identified, for the first time, specific military units responsible for committing these attacks, which may provide the leverage needed to finally produce real action that benefits the Rohingya—if enough voices of conscience speak out to demand it.
“They watched the soldiers burn all the houses in the village. After the military left, Mia’s sons went down and found their sister’s burned corpse in the ruins.
Mia’s family joins more than 530,000 Rohingya who have fled from Myanmar security forces executing a scorched-earth campaign against them in just a few weeks. That is comparable to the population of Atlanta running for their lives. In addition to the massacres, the military also systematically raped and tortured those who tried to escape.
About a million Rohingya Muslims are in an overwhelmingly Buddhist country. The Myanmar military continues to commit crimes against humanity with impunity. For nearly two months, the world has watched the execution of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.”
You can help spread awareness by posting the article from Amnesty International on your Society’s website or in your newsletters, and encouraging people to share with their acquaintances, write letters to the editor in local newspapers, and write to or call their representatives.
The Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for decades, but not allowed to be citizens. They have no rights. Not only is the government persecuting them, they are stealing and destroying their property and committing atrocities, including rape and murder. These are crimes against humanity and offensive to all the civilized world, requiring outcry and condemnation, everywhere and by everyone.
We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to these wrongs and to the suffering, willfully imposed by an unapologetic government. Join us to spread the word, raise your voices, individually and collectively. To fail to do so, given knowledge of this evil, is tantamount to collaboration.