356Take action against violence in Burma
- Jun 27, 2013Dear friends,
Most people didn't know what was happening in Rwanda until it was too late, and 800,000 people were dead. Right now, the fate of Burma's Rohingya people could be heading in the same dangerous direction. Already children have been hacked to death with machetes and unspeakable murders have been committed by the hundreds. Now racist thugs have distributed leaflets threatening to wipe out this small Burmese minority. All signs point to a coming horror, unless we act.
Genocides happen because we don't act on the obvious warning signs -- the kind we’re seeing now in Burma. The Rohingya are a peaceful and very poor people but they're hated because their skin is darker and they 'take jobs away' from the majority. There are 800,000 of them, and they could be gone if we don't act. We've failed too many peoples, let's not fail the Rohingya.
There's one simple thing we can do as a global community of conscience. The UN has called on the Burmese government to take action to end the violence against Muslims. But this risks becoming an empty gesture unless they establish an independent international investigation -- let’s build a giant outcry to show UN leaders that they’ll have blood on their hands if they don’t act to stop the next Rwanda. Sign the urgent petition, and it will be delivered directly to the UN Human Rights Council ahead of their next session:
Torture, gang rape, execution style killings -- human rights groups are using the term “ethnic cleansing” to describe the brutality in Burma. Already more than 120,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee, many to makeshift camps near the border, while others have fled in boats only to drown, starve, or be shot at by coastguards from neighboring countries. Reports show that violence is escalating -- President Thein Sein recently declared a state of emergency after another round of deadly attacks, and there could be another large scale massacre any day.
The horrific treatment of the Rohingya reached a new low this week when a government spokesperson admitted that authorities were enforcing a rule that limits the Rohingya population to having only two children and forces couples seeking to get married to obtain special permission. But there’s a silver lining, the proposal has sparked such an image problem for the President that he’s finally been forced to acknowledge what’s happening to the Rohingya.
But acknowledgement alone won’t end the killings. We've failed too many peoples, let's not fail the Rohingya. Join the call now and share this with everyone:
Time and again, the Avaaz community has stood with the people of Burma in their fight for democracy. When the regime brutally cracked down on Buddhist monks in 2007, Avaazers donated to provide technical support and training to activists to fight a communications blackout, and then donated to the humanitarian disaster after 2008's devastating cyclone. Now, let's urgently stand with the Rohinga people and help stop another massacre.
With hope and determination,
Jeremy, Luis, Aldine, Oliver, Marie, Jooyea and the whole Avaaz team
PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917
Burma riots: Video shows police failing to stop attack (BBC News)
Burma: End ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of Rohingya Muslims (Human Rights Watch)
Video shows Burmese police standing by as Buddhists attack Muslims (The Guardian)
Rights group accuses Myanmar of 'ethnic cleansing' (CNN)
Dalai Lama Pleads for Myanmar Monks to End Violence Amid Damning Rights Report (ABC News)
Special Report: Myanmar gives official blessing to anti-Muslim monks (Reuters)
ICC Prosecutor: we are closely monitoring the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ICC)
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