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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

London MEP calls for end to ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Burmese Muslims

A Rohingya woman from Burma

LONDON’S Green MEP Jean Lambert is to host a debate with Human Rights Watch and representatives of Myanmar’s largely-Muslim Rohingya community on the human rights abuses and organised violence they are suffering on an ongoing basis.

Recent rapprochement between Myanmar’s military junta and Europe – which has seen political prisoners including EU Sakharov prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi released from jail – has done little to prevent the persecution of the country’s Rohingya minority.

Ms Lambert has previously called for future trade between the EU and Myanmar to be limited unless the South-East Asian country protects Muslims living there.

Now she will host a discussion in the European Parliament on the plight of the Burmese Rohingya, to coincide with an exhibition of photographs documenting their lives.

Other participants in the debate include photographer Greg Constantine, Tim Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organization UK, and Lotte Licht, EU Director of Human Rights Watch.

The discussion takes place next Thursday, November 28th – with the exhibition, entitled: ‘Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya’, running all week.

Speaking before the event, Ms Lambert said:

“Earlier this year the European Parliament condemned the Government of Myanmar for failing to uphold the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its Rohingya minority, an issue often overlooked in global consideration of Burmese politics – and this exhibition and debate is about raising awareness of their plight.

“Burma’s Rohingya minority has suffered grave human rights abuses – described by Human Rights Watch as a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing.

“Violent attacks against the Muslim Rohingya people have included rape, torture, destruction of property and places of worship as well as official long-standing restrictions on freedom of movement, marriage rights and freedom of education. Thousands of displaced Rohingya are now living in neighbouring Thailand and, especially, Bangladesh.

“I call on the Government of Myanmar to recognise and uphold all their rights and do all it can to protect the Rohingya peoples from organised violence.”