UN appoints team for Myanmar fact-finding mission

An Indian will lead mission that wants 'full, unrestricted and unmonitored access' to restive Rakhine State
UN appoints team for Myanmar fact-finding mission

Residents of the Muslim village of Gozirbill near the Rakhine town of Maungdow pose for a photograph after their escape from Myanmar, at a refugee camp in Teknaf of southern Cox's Bazar district on Nov.24, 2016. (Photo by Munir Uz Zaman/AFP)

May 31, 2017
The U.N. has appointed three investigators to look into widespread allegations of killing, rape and torture by security forces against minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's western Rakhine State.

Indira Jaising, an advocate of the Supreme Court of India, will lead as chair of the international fact-finding mission according to a U.N. statement on May 30. The other two members are Sri Lankan lawyer Radhika Coomaraswamy and Australian consultant Christopher Dominic.

The mission will seek access to Myanmar where the military last week rejected allegations of abuses during a crackdown last October that forced more than 75,000 Rohingya to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

The U.N. has urged the government of Myanmar to fully cooperate by making available findings of its local investigations and by granting "full, unrestricted and unmonitored access" to the region.

The U.N. agreed to establish the fact-fining mission on March 24 in a resolution that strongly condemned violations and called for "ensuring full accountability for the perpetrators of these acts and justice for the victims."

Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has publicly rejected the U.N.'s fact-finding mission.

"It does not mean that we disrespect the U.N. It is just that it does not correspond with our country's situation," Suu Kyi said during a State of the Union speech in April.

On May 25, more than 50 Myanmar-based civil society organizations called on their government to cooperate with a U.N. fact-finding mission into the human rights situation not only in Rakhine but in Kachin, Shan, and other ethnic states of Myanmar.

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