(Geneva) – Myanmar’s domestic commissions on violence in Rakhine State have all failed to report credibly on atrocities against Rohingya or advance justice, Human Rights Watch said today in a report on eight Myanmar government commissions since 2012. The United Nations Human Rights Council, which is expected to adopt a resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar as part of its 39th session, should create a body to gather evidence and prepare case files for future prosecutions.
Since violence broke out in Rakhine State in 2012, the Myanmar government has created eight commissions ostensibly to investigate abuses or to make recommendations for resolving the crisis. Not one has led to accountability for serious crimes against the Rohingya. The composition and mandate of the latest commission, announced on May 31, 2018, make it clear that it will not be any more effective than its predecessors.
“The UN Human Rights Council should act now to preserve evidence and create a path to justice for victims of grave crimes in Myanmar,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The council should not wait for the country’s latest commission, which seems designed to dilute and deflect international calls for action.”
The Myanmar government’s descriptions of the latest commission signal that its primary purpose is to deflect international pressure. On August 29, presidential spokesperson Zaw Htay stated that the Independent Commission of Enquiry had been formed to “respond to false allegations made by the UN Agencies and other international communities.”