Investigate Allegations that Soldiers Sexually Assaulted Dozens of Women

Target: State Counselor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi

Goal: Allow an independent investigation regarding allegations of sexual assaults committed by state security forces.

State security forces in Myanmar supposedly committed a series of sexual assaults against Rohingya women and girls during so-called clearance operations in the northern Rakhine State. There have been multiple allegations of rapes across nine villages and over 28 cases of rape documented by Human Rights Watch. Furthermore, an investigation among Rohingya refugees conducted by the UN Office of the High Commission of Human Rights (UN OHCHR) found that more than half of the 101 women interviewed were survivors of sexual violence at the hands of state security forces. Despite this mounting evidence, authorities in Myanmar have done little to investigate these allegations, with some senior members of government appearing to suggest that the allegations are fabricated.

The Rohingya people are an ethnic minority from the Rakhine state in Myanmar, an area that has received little humanitarian aid from the government, despite overwhelming need. Many people are internally displaced, without adequate access to food, water, or healthcare. This is particularly problematic for survivors of sexual assault as many need healthcare services to prevent infection, handle unwanted pregnancies, and seek screenings for potential STDs such as HIV. Sign our petition and demand that the government of Myanmar allow an independent, thorough, and transparent investigation into these allegations of sexual assault, and provide humanitarian aid to internally displaced people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi,

I was shocked to read that your government has made no appreciable progress in investigating allegations of widespread sexual assault against people of the Rohingya ethnicity committed by members of the state security forces. As you should know, investigators with the UN OHCHR interviewed 101 Rohingya women and found that over half reported enduring some form of sexual violence. Furthermore, Human Rights Watch has documented 28 cases of alleged sexual crimes committed by security forces during the clearance operation in Rakhine State.

These allegations are far too widespread to be dismissed or denied. An independent, transparent, and impartial authority must step in to investigate these allegations. Given that these allegations may implicate members of the military, coupled with the slow response of the government of Myanmar, I believe the most appropriate authority would be a joint investigative task force under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. I urge you to endorse such an investigation.

Secondly, given the estimated 23,000 people internally displaced in Myanmar, I believe it is critical that humanitarian aid is allowed to reach its destination freely. Especially considering the allegations of sexual violence, it is critical that internally displaced people have access to adequate healthcare resources, including HIV screenings and treatment for infections. I urge you to allow a greater level of humanitarian aid to reach Rakhine State.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: wikimedia

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One Comment

  1. Yes, there needs to be an independent investigation immediately.

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195 Signatures

  • Ina Calvano
  • kathleen v adamski
  • Diane Petrillo
  • Lynn Bromberg
  • Martin Peterson
  • Janet Livingston
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