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Incidents in Rakhine bear hallmarks of genocide: Yanghee Lee

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13th-Mar-2018       
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UNB, Dhaka :
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee on Monday said the incidents in Rakhine State bear the hallmarks of genocide and called for accountability in the strongest terms.
Lee, who was informed late last year that her access to the country was denied, also expressed serious concern that the "repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more" in Myanmar, describing the situation faced by civil society across the country as "increasingly perilous".
Delivering her report to the Council in Geneva, she told the Human Rights Council that to date accountability for the crimes committed in Rakhine following August 25, 2017, and October 9, 2016, was elusive, adding that this must now be the focus of the international community's efforts to bring a long-lasting peace, stability and democratisation to Myanmar.
"This must be aimed at the individuals who gave the orders and carried out violations against individuals and entire ethnic and religious groups," said Lee. "The government leadership who did nothing to intervene, stop, or condemn these acts must also be held accountable."
Lee called for a thorough, impartial and credible investigation to be conducted without delay and perpetrators to be held responsible for the alleged crimes that were committed  
 in Rakhine since October 9, 2016 and August 25, 2017, and for the violations that continue today, according to a message UNB received here from Geneva.
She called for the establishment of a UN structure, based in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, for three years to investigate, document, collect, consolidate, map, and analyse evidence of human rights violations and abuses.
The Special Rapporteur added the investigative body should maintain and prepare evidence in a master database to support and facilitate impartial, fair and independent international criminal proceedings in national or international courts or tribunals in accordance with international criminal law standards.

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