Myanmar Blocks UN Investigation of Rohingya Crisis

The United Nations human rights investigator assigned to look into the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar claims she has been barred from entering the country.

Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, announced the Myanmar government has refused to grant her access to the country for the remainder of her tenure. In January 2018, Lee was to investigate the human rights conditions in the Rakhine state of Myanmar where the Rohingya are concentrated.

“I am puzzled and disappointed by this decision by the Myanmar government,” Lee said. “This declaration of non-cooperation with my mandate can only be viewed as a strong indication that there must be something terribly awful happening in Rakhine, as well as in the rest of the country.”

According to UN figures, more than 630,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in the Rakhine district for safety in neighboring Bangladesh since Myanmar’s military began attacking them last August. Last month, visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the ethnic cleansing as “horrendous atrocities” and promised targeted sanctions against guilty individuals.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, told the BBC that Myanmar’s nominal leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the head of the country’s military could face genocide charges for their roles in the disaster.

Myanmar refugees Rohingya