Saturday, 16 June 2012

US Congressman Crowley on Violence in Burma’s Arakan State


CHIEF DEPUTY WHIP JOSEPH CROWLEY
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2012 courtney.gidner@mail.house.gov

Congressman Crowley on Violence in Burma’s Arakan State

(Queens, N.Y.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), a leader in the House on Burma, released the following statement in response to increased violence in Burma’s Arakan State and the Government of Bangladesh’s refusal of refugees from the violence. Communal tensions, long simmering in Arakan State, have erupted this month into violence marked by the burning of homes, killings, and other physical attacks. Both Buddhists and Muslims have been the victims of this recent violence. Some Rohingya, members of a Muslim minority group that has long been persecuted in both Burma and Bangladesh, have fled the violence in Burma to seek safety in Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh has openly refused to offer sanctuary, even to the wounded, and has reportedly sent many individuals back to Burma.

“I strongly urge the Government of Bangladesh to adhere to its international obligations not to turn away those trying to escape attacks in Burma and allow those individuals to have access to essential services. I also urge the Government of Burma to protect human rights throughout the country, and respond to this outbreak of violence in a manner that respects the rule of law and fundamental freedoms. The attacks highlight the challenges facing Burma’s government; its country’s leaders should protect the rights of all ethnic minorities, promote dialogue among ethnic groups, and hold perpetrators of crimes accountable under a fair and transparent legal system. The government should follow the calls of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and firmly establish the rule of law in order to bring an end to strife.”

Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives.

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