Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Press release from Partners Relief: Burma's participation in violence against Rohingya

Partners Relief & Development
Oslo, Norway
Media contacts: Mrs. Oddny Gumaer +47 904 012 17 (Norway)


Burma’s government is actively participating in violence against the Rohingya people in
Western Burma

More than 120,000 people are still in desperate need of emergency relief.

(April 24, 2013, Oslo, Norway) This week the international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report that highlights gross human rights abuses and possible ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Western Burma (Myanmar).

Partners Relief & Development (PRAD) confirms that HRW’s claims are in line with what Partners’ staff has seen and heard in Arakan state.

Partners founder and advocacy officer, Oddny Gumaer, has interviewed more than 30 people who in some ways have been the victims of the violence in Arakan state over the last year. “The stories testify of horrific acts of violence where not even children were spared. They confirm that both the police and army officials participated in the violence. They speak of unlawful arrests, torture and rape. They are a testimony from a people who are living in hopeless despair,” says Oddny Gumaer.

“A woman I talked to broke down crying uncontrollably after she told us of the massacres of her 29 relatives, among them her seven children and 18 grandchildren.”

PRAD wants to support Human Rights Watch in demanding that there must be an immediate change in Arakan state. The Burma government must immediately investigate the acts of violence, and the offenders must be brought to justice. The Rohingya people must be given the citizenship they lost in 1982 back. Humanitarian aid organizations must get free access to the areas in greatest need. “The humanitarian situation is close to a catastrophe,” says Gumaer who was in the area in March. “People lack everything from food and medicine to tarps and blankets.”

Partners also wants to encourage the international community to take this situation seriously and reconsider if financial investments in the nation of Burma is justifiable as long as the government is not able to put and end to the serious human rights abuses against the Rohingya people.

Partners Relief & Development (PRAD) is a registered charity in six countries. The work of Partners has provided emergency relief and sustainable development for tens of thousands of displaced people in Burma since 1994. PRAD seeks free, full lives for the children of Burma and reconciled communities living in peace.

For additional information or photographs, please contact:

Please also read this update on Oddny's blog: When your only goal is to die.

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