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“Justice and Accountability are Essential to Securing a Democratic Future for Burma”: International Human Rights Organization Endorses Rohingya Demands for Justice
Associate Director of Strategic Communications
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
On May 12, the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK) released a new briefing, which calls on Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) and the international community to prioritize justice for military crimes as part of the restoration of democracy in Burma (Myanmar). Rachel Gore Freed, UUSC’s Vice President and Chief Program Officer, issued the following statement in response:
“The recommendations in this briefing could not be timelier. We wholeheartedly endorse our partner, BROUK’s demands for justice, including for military atrocities that long predate the coup. Restoring democracy cannot just mean a return to the pre-coup status quo. Before the military’s unlawful seizure of power in February, leaders in Burma’s civilian government were complicit in atrocities against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups. Some of these same figures now serve in the NUG. They must commit to ensuring that any post-coup future will build a truly just and inclusive democracy. This requires seeking justice and accountability for those who suffered under the military’s oppression long before the February coup, and modeling inclusive democracy in their own ranks by ensuring Rohingya representation.”
“If the NUG wishes to be recognized as the lawful government of Burma and to embody the democratic aspirations of its people, they must endorse these efforts. BROUK’s new briefing offers a roadmap to do so. We urge the NUG to take immediate proactive steps to support international justice mechanisms. We also urge the international community, including the United States, to exert influence in favor of these goals. Justice and accountability are essential to securing a democratic future for Burma. Without them, there will be only temporary respite until the military strikes again.”
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights and solidarity organization founded as a rescue mission in 1940 during the Holocaust. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with a membership of more than 35,000 supporters across the United States, UUSC’s programs focus on the issues of climate change, migrant justice, and crisis response.
UUSC’s Burma program spans 25 years of donor support to Burmese- and ethnic minority-led human rights and humanitarian aid organizations.