'Incidents in Rakhine bear hallmarks of genocide'
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 democratization 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.