Bashir: Violence and discrimination against the Rohingyas must end

15-Dec-2016 @ 13:00

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Bashir: Violence and discrimination against the Rohingyas must end

Conservative MEP Amjad Bashir has stepped up his campaign to help millions of stateless people who often face violence, discrimination and are denied access to work and healthcare.

The Yorkshire and Humber MEP, who earlier this month published a report urging more help for stateless individuals, was the lead negotiator for today's European Parliament debate on the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. The Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted people in the world and have been stateless since the Burmese nationality law was introduced in 1982, denying them citizenship. In recent weeks the Burmese military has intensified its crackdown on the Rohingya living in Rakhine state, where most of them live.

MEPs passed a resolution calling for violence to stop, international observers to be allowed into Myanmar's Rakhine state and for a path to citizenship for the Rohingyas.

Highlighting the deteriorating situation Mr Bashir said: “The Rohingyas have been persecuted for generations and it is time for this horrific injustice to end.

"The fact that they are stateless has made them an easy target, basic rights conferred by nationality is something we take for granted but for the Rohingyas it is just a dream.

“Statelessness can make even the simple things in life difficult such as getting married, getting a job and accessing education or healthcare. At its worst it can lead to hostile discrimination, ethnic cleansing and murder.

“Some progress on this issue has already been made in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam but in Myanmar immediate action must be taken to end the oppression of the Rohingyas and prevent more innocent children being born with the curse of statelessness”

International observers have been barred from the Rakhine state. However, satellite images obtained by human rights organisations show the destruction of at least 1500 homes of Rohingya. More than 25,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh amid a military crackdown.

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