DHAKA – Three Nobel Peace laureates denounced on Monday the international community’s silence regarding the persecution of Muslim minority Rohingyas in Myanmar after visiting refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkol Karman and Mairead Maguire, members of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, on Sunday began a visit to refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh, where some 688,000 Rohingyas have traveled to since violence broke out against them in Myanmar last year.
“The international community disappeared and its shame on all of us and on the international community that they are silent against all this genocide,” Yemen’s Karman, who founded the group “Women Journalists Without Chains” and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, told reporters.
Northern Irish activist Maguire said she heard accounts of women who had been raped and their families murdered, and blamed the Myanmar government of an “orchestrated attempt” to remove the Rohingyas and their history from Myanmar.
“We demand the international community, the United Nations and every single body to take this matter now,” said Maguire, who received the Nobel prize in 1976 for her efforts to end violence in Northern Ireland.
“And as members of the international community we have to do our utmost to make sure this is taken to the international court. And we are paving the way for that,” said Iranian lawyer Ebadi, who in 2003 became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
The mass exodus started after the military carried out a campaign in retaliation against an attack by a Rohingya rebel group on Aug. 25, 2017, in a province inhabited by around one million members of the minority.
The United Nations and human rights organizations have repeatedly said that there is clear evidence of rights violations in Rakhine, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called the violence an example of “ethnic cleansing.”