Stephen comments on situation in Burma

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Stephen has echoed the concerns of Labour MPs following a debate held yesterday in the House of Commons on the Rohingya crisis. The debate was tabled by Labour MP, Helen Jones.

During the debate, MPs called for the government to take stronger action against the Burmese military and government and demanded that the UK should look at imposing pose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on the Burmese military to help end the conflict.

There have been widespread reports of human rights violations in Rakhine State. The resulting refugee crisis has seen nearly 650,000 flee to Bangladesh and there have been multiple reports of torture, ill treatment, extrajudicial killing, arson, mass rape and other forms of sexual violence by the Burmese security forces.

The High commissioner of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad describing the situation as “…a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, added that he had seen “…a level of Human suffering… that I have never seen before.”

Speaking after the debate, Stephen said: “Those responsible for these actions must be held accountable and the rights of the Rohingya must be secured and preserved. Alongside an end to the conflict, those who have been forced to flee into Bangladesh must also be guaranteed safe return to their homes.

“The UK government should use its influence in the UN Security Council to seek legally binding guarantees towards the recognition and implementation of the rights of the Rohingya people by the Burmese government.”