Calling the incidence of violence in the Rakhaine State of Myanmar a crime against humanity, Human Rights Commission Chairman Mr. Kazi Reazul Hoque gave a vivid description of brutalities and atrocities unleashed by Myanmar security forces on the Rohingyas during his statement in the Istanbul Ombudsman Conference in Turkey, Istanbul on 25-27 September 2017. The Conference was inaugurated by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and attended by the Heads of Ombudsman institution and Human Rights Commission of more than 30 countries, mostly from Europe and Asia. Bangladesh Consul General in Istanbul, Dr. Mohammad Monirul Islam accompanied the Commission Chairman in the Conference.
Mr. Hoque presented a keynote paper in the session titled Fight against Racism, Xenophobia and Hate Speech. In view of increasing global attention and importance of the issue in its own right, he picked up the Rohingya crisis as a case study to present a worst case scenario of a systematic persecution and gross violation of human rights. Citing the evidence and reports on the alarmingly terrible situations in the Arakan State of Myanmar, he mentioned that United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights termed this as ‘text book example of ethnic cleansing’. He proposed a four-point solution to effectively address this crisis, what he called as Tripple I + P. This includes immediate end to violence, immediate access to the Arakan state for humanitarian aid, immediate humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas in Bangladesh and permanently solve the crisis. He highlighted the role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in providing temporary shelter to more than 450000 Rohingyas on humanitarian ground and her assurances for all basic necessities and fundamental rights until unless they return to their ancestral land.
In his inaugural address, Turkish President made an emotional pitch on the woes and agonies of Rohingyas and assured his government’s continued support for bringing the crisis to an end. The issue has also got references in a number of statements delivered at the conference. All of them condemned the violence in Myanmar and expressed solidarity with Rohingyas. The active participation of the Bangladesh Human Rights Commission Chairman has not only provided a first-hand account of events but also helped to mobilise international support to pressure Myanmar to immediately stop violence and create enabling environment for the return of Rohingyas to their homeland in a safe, secured and dignified way.
The Istanbul International Ombudsman Conference is aimed at exchanging views and perspectives between and among the Ombudsman/Human Rights institutions of the countries in Asia and Europe in further strengthening their institutional capacity to protect and promote human rights and dignity at the national level in particular and at global scale in general.