Rapid Descent into Genocide in Myanmar?

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Sch of Law

Abstract

There is a general reluctance to define an event as genocide until after its occurrence. Our research will determine whether or not conditions of persecution against Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority have developed into genocidal practice. The research will be conducted within a state crime framework wherein genocide is understood as a process, building over a period of years, and involving an escalation in the dehumanisation and persecution of the target group (Green and Ward 2001; 2004). While Myanmar's Rohingya minority (with an estimated population of 1.4 million in Rakhine State) have historically suffered from gross persecution and the denial of basic human rights (including the right to citizenship), mounting violence and discrimination against Muslims suggests that the current situation could rapidly descend into genocide. Recent developments including deadly arson attacks, periodic massacres, destruction of mosques, and at least 900 deaths of Rohingya fleeing by boat since June 2012, constitute a process that the PI, Co-I and state crime scholars at ISCI interpret as 'pre-genocidal'. Our preliminary analysis strongly indicates that several pre-cursors to genocide have been met. State practice surrounding escalating violence and discrimination against the Rohingya reflects that observed in Rwanda, Germany and Bosnia in the periods preceding genocide.

The following developments in Myanmar are of grave concern:

- Recently leaked official documents expose secret government orders to impose extensive discriminatory and abusive restrictions on the basic freedoms of Rohingya.
- In January and March 2014, new waves of deadly, state sponsored violence were perpetrated against the Rohingya in Maungdaw and Sittwe (Rakhine's state capital) respectively.
- In January 2014 the government withdrew staff and medicine from the only state-run hospital for the Rohingya Thae Chaung refugee camp near Sittwe.
- On 26 February 2014 President Thein Sein announced his support for a Bill to restrict interfaith marriage between Muslim men and Buddhist women.
- On 26 February 2014 the government expelled the medical aid NGO Médecins Sans Frontières effectively removing all available emergency and health care services for over 1 million Rohingya in northern Rakhine State.
- On 27 March 2014 Rakhine nationalists attacked foreign aid groups providing assistance to Rohingya communities.
- Muslims have been prohibited from registering as 'Rohingya' in the country's April 2014 census, the first to be held in three decades.

The aims of the research are to determine whether the Myanmar state is currently engaging in practices that could lead to genocide; to explore perpetrator perceptions of the violence and to identify genocidal precursors in the daily experience of the Rohingya. Our hypothesis suggests that recent state and state-sponsored policy and practice, evidenced in January, February and March 2014, represents a genocidal 'tipping point'.

The research will be valuable as the first systematic evidence base for those MPs, journalists and civil society organisations currently campaigning to stop Myanmar's persecution of the Rohingya. The most important potential benefit will be a contribution to the prevention of full-scale genocide in Myanmar.

The study is linked to the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI), which gathers, analyses and disseminates scholarly research and victim testimony about state violence and corruption through its website (www.statecrime.org) and other activities.

Planned Impact

The urgency of this application relates not only to data collection but to dissemination and impact. The most important potential benefit will be a contribution to the prevention of full-scale genocide in Myanmar.

The primary beneficiaries should, therefore, be the Rohinyga people. Other beneficiaries of this research will include: civil society organisations (CSOs), journalists, lawyers, policy makers, governments and the private sector.

Within Myanmar domestic human rights and civil society organisations have been notable in their unwillingness to address the suffering and repression of the Rohingya people. There is thus an absence of a counter-discourse which challenges the very state practices which this proposal seeks to explore. In this sense the Rohingya are isolated and marginalised, not only by the Myanmar state, but also by the local human rights community. A significant impact will be enhancing the voice of Rohingya people in their struggle against violence and oppression and persuading domestic civil society of the human rights abuses the Rohingya suffer. Working with Rohingya representatives and international CSOs, we will engage in skills transference with research beneficiaries at the planning and data collection stages. Transferable skills will include data collection techniques, dissemination strategies and advocacy. Planning and executing the research project with CSO partner Fortify Rights will enhance best practice for data collection and dissemination and increase grass roots confidence in the research. At key stages of the project, CSOs - both Myanmar and international - will be provided with data in a format ready for use as the basis for and to support campaigns that promote change in attitudes to the Rohingya.

Importantly, the data will be available to journalists in readily accessible form. Accessible 'press packs' will assist journalists and bloggers with data interpretation and analysis. They will include our findings, contextual information and infographics to help make the material more intelligible to a wider public so that public knowledge of the threat to the Rohingya and the issue of genocide in general will be enhanced.

Relevant international public prosecutors and lawyers will be notified of indications of prima facie evidence for international crimes that data collection reveals. Any potential proof of intent to destroy a group (genocidal intent) that can be reasonably inferred from the facts, the concrete circumstances, or a pattern of purposeful action (as set out in the Krstic ICTY case) will be reported to the UK Authorities, the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and members of the United Nations Security Council.

The project team has written to the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, outlining its concerns for the Rohingya and has participated in All Party Parliamentary Groups for Burma and Prevention of Genocide at the House of Lords. The UK government will be kept informed of our research through briefs presented in easily digestible form to government ministers and departmental officials.

It is anticipated that effective dissemination should stimulate pressure from the international community and, to some extent influence the Myanmar state and its agencies, particularly the local Rakhine Government, Myanmar Police Force and the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces). Ultimately, it is hoped that the project will contribute to the saving of Rohingya lives by averting genocide. To this end, we will focus on directing impacts towards government policy design.

The private sector, now engaging with the Burmese government after many years of strict sanctions, will be able to use data collected to make informed investment decisions, especially in light of human rights due diligence and corporate obligations under UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNOHCHR 2011).

Publications


10 25 50
De La Cour Venning, A (2014) Genocide and Rohingya
 
Description In May 2015 scenes of desperate people stranded without food or water on captain-less boats off the coasts of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia brought global attention to the Rohingya, a 1.1 million-strong Muslim ethnic group in Rakhine state, Myanmar (formerly Burma). The immediate humanitarian crisis, however, masked a much deeper and more unpalatable crisis - a genocidal persecution organised by the Myanmar State from which the Rohingya were fleeing.
Reports of this persecution led researchers from the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) to explore whether or not well-documented state crimes against Myanmar's Rohingya do indeed amount to genocide. ISCI's detailed research found ample evidence that the Rohingya have been subjected to systematic and widespread violations of human rights, including killings, torture, rape and arbitrary detention; destruction of their homes and villages; land confiscation; forced labour; denial of citizenship; denial of the right to identify themselves as Rohingya; denial of access to healthcare, education and employment; restrictions on freedom of movement, and State-sanctioned campaigns of religious hatred.

It also found compelling evidence of State-led policies, laws and strategies of genocidal persecution stretching back over 30 years, and of the Myanmar State coordinating with Rakhine ultra-nationalists, racist monks and its own security forces in a genocidal process against the Rohingya.

The persecution entered a new and more devastating phase in 2012. Organised massacres left over 200 Rohingya men, women and children dead. Up to 60 Rakhine were also killed during the June violence. Hundreds of homes, the vast majority belonging to Rohingya, were destroyed.
Around 138,000 Rohingya were displaced and ended up in what are effectively detention camps.

A further 4,500 desperate Rohingya people live in a squalid ghetto in Sittwe, Rakhine state's capital.
The Myanmar government's escalating institutionalized discrimination against the Rohingya has allowed hate speech to flourish, encouraged Islamophobia and granted impunity to perpetrators of the violence.

The systematic, planned and targeted weakening of the Rohingya through mass violence and other measures, as well as the regime's successive implementation of discriminatory and persecutory policies against them, amounts to a process of genocide. This process emerged in the 1970s, and has accelerated during Myanmar's faltering transition to democracy.

Part I of our report describes the history, politics and economics of the State's persecution of the Rohingya, affording particular attention to the relationship between the Rakhine Buddhist community and the State. Part II then analyses these processes of persecution using Daniel Feierstein's delineation of genocide's six stages, as outlined in his book, Genocide as Social Practice. Specifically, we will focus on genocide's first four stages: 1) stigmatisation and dehumanisation; 2) harassment, violence and terror; 3) isolation and segregation; and 4) the systematic weakening of the target group.

The systematic weakening process that has accompanied the dehumanisation, violence and segregation has been so successful that the Rohingya in Myanmar can be described as a people whose agency has been effectively destroyed. Those who can, flee, while those who remain endure the barest of lives.

Now, the Rohingya potentially face the final two stages of genocide - mass annihilation and erasure of the group from Myanmar's history.

The report documents in detail the evidence for genocide, its historical genesis and the political, social and economic conditions in which it has emerged. It identifies the architects of the genocide as Myanmar State officials and security forces, Rakhine nationalist civil society leaders and Buddhist monks, and points to a significant degree of coordination between these agencies in the pursuit of eliminating the Rohingya from Myanmar's political landscape.

The report is based on a 12-month period of research, four of which were spent in the field between October 2014 and February 2015. The research included 176 interviews, observational fieldwork and documentary sources.

ISCI concludes that genocide is taking place in Myanmar and warns of the serious and present danger of the annihilation of the country's Rohingya population.
Exploitation Route In 2014-15 we conducted the first systematic academic study on the persecution of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority. Public, media and civil society engagement have been central features of the research process, given the severity and immediacy of the human rights violations experienced by the Rohingya. During the course of our research, and following the publication of, Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar (October 2015), we provoked and influenced debate across a wide range of international broadcast, print and digital media (securing over 200 media mentions in 2015 alone and an equivalent number in 2016-17). The research has already been referenced in major documentaries (for example, Al-Jazeera's Genocide Agenda) and a very wide range of international print and broadcast media including: TIME Magazine, the Economist, CNN, TRT, The Guardian, the Observer, BBC4's Today Programme, the Washington Post, the Nation, the LA Times, the Sydney morning Herald, the Straits Times, New Light of Myanmar. In addition, through seminars, lectures, panel discussions, launch events, film screenings, and photography exhibitions we have engaged key domestic and international policymakers, current and former UN Special Rapporteurs, the British FCO, the academic community, civil society actors, students, and the general public on the issue of genocide in Myanmar. This has culminated in the research team leading the organisation and hosting the first session of the Permanent People's Tribunal on Myanmar held on 6-7th March 2017 at Queen Mary University of London along with Rohingya and Kachin activists in the diaspora. The tribunal assessed a wide range of credible allegations by these communities of international crimes suffered by the Rohingya and Kachin at the hands of the Myanmar state, including: crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and gross human rights abuses. The Myanmar Tribunal will hold its concluding session in South East Asia later in 2017. The ISCI/QMUL research team will be central to its conduct.

Our most significant impact has been to expose the state criminality of the Myanmar government, and to shift public discourse from a depoliticised 'refugee and humanitarian' narrative to one of targeted genocidal persecution. Our research continues to be influential in the global civil society and media sectors and to some extent within government. For example the First Assistant Secretary, South-East Asia Mainland and Regional Division of the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar required reading for all his staff.
Sectors Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy
URL http://statecrime.org/data/2015/10/ISCI-Rohingya-Report-PUBLISHED-VERSION.pdf
 
Description In 2014-15 ISCI conducted the first systematic academic study on the persecution of Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority. Public engagement has been a central feature of the research process, given the severity and immediacy of the human rights violations experienced by the Rohingya. During the course of our research, and following the publication of 'Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar' (October 2015), we have provoked and influenced debate across a wide range of broadcast, print and digital media (securing over 200 media mentions). In addition, through seminars, lectures, panel discussions, launch events, film screenings, and photography exhibitions we have engaged key domestic and international policymakers, current and former UN Special Rapporteurs, the British FCO, the academic community, civil society actors, students, and the general public on the issue of genocide in Myanmar. Our most significant impact has been to expose the state criminality of the Myanmar government, and to shift public discourse from a depoliticised 'refugee and humanitarian' narrative to one of targeted genocidal persecution. Given the urgency of the question we were investigating and the nature of the ESRC grant awarded we were in prime position to intervene in the media and policy debates that emerged following the 'refugee boat' crisis in the Andaman Sea in April/May 2015. Responding to early media coverage, on the refugees we distributed a press release through QMUL's Public Relations Department. The response was overwhelming (over 200 media appearances/mentions in the world's leading outlets) and represented QMUL's biggest media story of 2015. Key outlets included: The Guardian, The Independent, The Today Programme (BBC Radio 4), CNN, The Observer, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsweek, The Economist, Sky News, Al-Jazeera, Washington Post, LA Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Die Spiegel, Tages Anzeiger, and the Bangkok Post. Our major contribution was to shift the direction of existing public discourse from the readily observable 'refugee and humanitarian crisis' (Rohingya stranded on boats without food or water, abandoned by traffickers to the root causes of that crisis. Our research had made clear that those root causes related to the state crime of genocide. In addition to traditional academic dissemination, we have participated in widespread public engagement, exploiting the following key pathways to impact: 1) We presented our findings at the: Oslo Conference End Myanmar's Persecution of the Rohingyas, where Professor Green also engaged in a head-to-head debate with the former UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Tomás Ojea Quintana (http://statecrime.org/state-crime-research/rohingya-oslo-conference/); and UNICEF's Next Generation Panel Discussion on the Persecution of the Rohingya, Google HQ (London). 2) Our research team was centrally involved in the making of Al-Jazeera documentary, Genocide Agenda, through the provision of research based evidence as well as film appearance (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/exclusive-strong-evidence-genocide-myanmar-151024190547465.html). 3) We have participated in Baroness Kinnock's All-Party Parliamentary Group meetings on Burma; and The Burmese elections and the persecution of the Rohingya at Speakers House. 4) We participated in the Genocide Awareness Roundtable, an on-going collaborative policy civil society forum led by Waging Peace. 5) We have engaged in regular briefings to the Whitehall Burma Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 6) Our team has briefed both the UK and US Ambassadors to Burma (Andrew Patrick and Derek Mitchell respectively). 7) We provide research intelligence to a wide range of journalists, NGOs, INGOs, academics and Rohingya campaigners, including The Economist, Amnesty International, Refugees International, and C4ADS. 8) We hosted a week of events, talks, film and photography with the aim of drawing attention to the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya (27th October 2015 - 31st October 2015). The week's events featured internationally acclaimed photographer Greg Constantine, Al Jazeera, and leading experts from the field including former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana. 9) Our impact was formally recognised by QMUL when we won the Public Engagement Award 'Inform' (Communications) at QMUL's Engagement and Enterprise Awards 2015 (http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/news/2015/167096.html). 10) Our research elicited a statement from the Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs (8th November 2015) rejecting our report findings based on the fact they don't recognise the name 'Rohingya' (published in Global New Light of Myanmar 9th November 2015: http://bit.ly/1Sea3Pc).
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services
 
Description Eurasia Program
Amount $144,454 (USD)
Organisation Open Society Foundation, New York 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States of America
Start 01/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description Open Society Funding Scheme
Amount $25,000 (USD)
Organisation Open Society Foundation, New York 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States of America
Start 06/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Collaborative Workshop Series on Citizen Journalism: Cambridge University and Queen Mary University of London (International State Crime Initiative) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact In collaboration with the Social Media Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) based at Cambridge University, the International State Crime Initiative held two workshops for graduate students and researchers exploring the challenges of Citizen Journalism. The workshops, which were held at QMUL on 22 February and Cambridge on 7 March explored case studies from Burma, Egypt and Syria with researchers and human rights activists.

Through the sourcing of online information and hands-on engagement with data relating to the case studies, workshop participants were able to better understand "crowd-powered" evidence gathering practices as well as some of the challenges confronting citizen journalists. Participants investigated how search-engine driven online research obscured as well as revealed information, and discussed the relationship between repressive regimes' efforts to police mainstream or traditional journalism interacts with citizen journalism. We explored the challenges of triangulating sources from eyewitnesses with online information, and the difficulties that human rights activists face in countries such as Burma where relatively low levels of internet use and lack of access by the media to communities threatened by state violence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://statecrime.org/state-crime-research/projects/collaborative-workshop-series-on-citizen-journal...
 
Description Genocide Now in Burma & Sudan: Lessons from the Recent Past 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We hosted two panel events jointly with Waging Peace.

- Thursday 14 April, Committee Room 3A, House of Lords, 3-4.30pm
- Monday 18 April, G. O. Jones Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London, 6-8pm

A recent report by ISCI found clear evidence that the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma is suffering a concerted campaign of annihilation that amounts to genocide. As the former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the country wrote in the report's foreword, "The Rohingya people are gradually being decimated." At the same time, in Sudan, what many have described as genocide in Darfur, primarily against the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa tribes, is now into its 13th year, making it, according to former UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, the "world's longest running genocide."

This is happening now, in plain sight of the international community. Both situations are expected to deteriorate in coming months. The impending dry season in Burma will likely lead to hundreds of Rohingya drowning, as they did last year, as they tried to flee the country in flimsy, over-burdened boats, at the mercy of unscrupulous people-traffickers. And in Sudan, in addition to Darfur, genocidal violence has spread to the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile state. Humanitarian catastrophe looms in these regions, and recent months have seen renewed escalation of violence in Darfur.

In the context of these urgent and unfolding tragedies, these two expert panel discussions will engage with the thorny question of what could and should and should not be done by external actors such as the UN to mitigate both situations. What can be learnt from past failures and successes? Can anything be done to bring an end to the worst atrocities? And how can future ones be prevented? Is it even realistic to hope prevention is possible? These are not easy questions. But with genocide again happening before our eyes, they demand careful and critical consideration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://statecrime.org/about-isci/events/14-18-april-2016-genocide-now-in-burma-sudan-lessons-from-th...
 
Description ISCI ROHINGYA WEEK: Genocide in Myanmar: the Annihilation of the Rohingya (27th to 31st October 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A week of events, talks, film & photography with the aim of drawing attention to the ongoing genocide against the Rohingya. The week's events feature renowned photographer Greg Constantine, Al Jazeera, & leading experts from the field including former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana

Tuesday, 27th October - Saturday, 31st October 2015
All events at: Hoxton Arches, 402 Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD
Exhibition open daily from 12:00pm - 7:30pm (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until 9pm)

Background

ISCI hosted a series of events and talks with the purpose of raising the profile of the marginalised Rohingya. The crisis shows no signs of abating, and the international community's response remains woefully inadequate.

The Rohingya have been forced to flee the region in the tens of thousands, via dangerous sea routes, during which they experience severe physical and psychological abuse by human traffickers. The mass exodus of Rohingya is a direct result of the violence and systematic policies of persecution implemented by the Myanmar state against them. ISCI argues that the Myanmar state's historic and ongoing persecution of the Rohingya amounts to genocide. The severe violence, discrimination, and destitution the Rohingya experience on a daily basis in Myanmar means that many feel as though they have no option but to flee.

Events

1) Photography exhibition Opening + Greg Constantine Book Launch & Talk
Nowhere People
Tuesday, 27th October, 6:30pm - 8:00pm [Exhibition open till 9:00pm]

Our first event launched a photography exhibition by internationally renowned photographer, Greg Constantine. His work represents a powerful and timely artistic intervention on the plight of the Rohingya, capturing the deep and ongoing suffering of a people who have, quite simply, nowhere to go. Based on his new book project, Nowhere People, this exhibition explores the themes of statelessness, belonging, and citizenship. His book, Exiled to Nowhere: Burma's Rohingya published in 2012, was named a Notable Photo Book of the Year by The Independent on Sunday. Both books will be available for purchase at the exhibition.

2) ISCI Report Launch + Panel Discussion
Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar
Thursday, 29th October, 6:30pm - 8:00pm [Exhibition open till 9:00pm]

Our second event launched the ground-breaking report Countdown to Annihilation: Genocide in Myanmar, written by ISCI scholars: Professor Penny Green, Dr Thomas MacManus, and Alicia de la Cour Venning. The report provides compelling evidence of a coordinated, State-led plan of genocide against the Rohingya. The report is based on ISCI scholars' unprecedented systematic field research in Myanmar. The launch of the report will be accompanied by a panel discussion with:

· Penny Green, ISCI Director, Professor of Law and Globalisation, Queen Mary University of London

· Tomás Ojea Quintana, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar

· Tun Khin, President of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK and human rights activist

· Sarnata Reynolds, Senior Advisor on Human Rights at Refugees International

· Thomas MacManus, ISCI Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London

· Alicia de la Cour Venning, ISCI Researcher, Queen Mary University of London

3) Al Jazeera Documentary International Premiere + Director Q&A (via Skype)
Genocide Agenda
Saturday, 31st October, 6:30pm - 8:30pm [Exhibition open till 9:00pm]

Hoxton Arches, Cremer Street, London, E2 8HD

Our third and final event will hosted the international premiere of Al Jazeera's new feature documentary, Genocide Agenda, which investigates the genocide against the Rohingya. The evening featured a Q&A with the film's Director, Phil Rees (Investigations Manager at Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit ), Professor Penny Green (Director of ISCI and Professor of Law and Globalisation, QMUL) and others.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Islamophobia: Burma's racist fault-line 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This article explores the Burmese state's persecution of the Rohingya ethnic minority and the struggle of one community activist, Abu Tahay to bring it to the world's attention.

Islamophobia: Burma's racist fault-line
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/04/201342910920804170.html
 
Description Myanmar's Democratic Transition: What does that mean for the Persecuted Rohingya? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Professor Penny Green (PI) and Dr Thomas MacManus (Researcher) were members of a distinguished panel at a one day conference held at the University of Oxford on 11th May 2015 on the future of Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya.

The conference's key objectives were:

To bring together researchers and practitioners in international law, history, public health, sociology, politics and economics as well as Rohingya human rights defenders:

1. to scrutinise and debate the meanings of the terms genocide, persecution, democratisation and their relationships in theory and in history;

2. to continue shining a critical spotlight of university and independent research onto what is increasingly recognized as Myanmar's slow genocide of the Rohingya not only by international genocide and legal scholars but by world icons such as George Soros, Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Amartya Sen, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman;

3. to call attention to recent research into the deplorable human conditions under which over 1 million Rohingya live in 'vast open prisons' (i.e., Rohingya villages and towns) and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, which the New York Times has called "the 21st century concentration camps";

4. to present evidence to convince Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi government that the end of decades-long state persecution of the Rohingya minority should be a top priority; and

5. to brainstorm critical and constructive ideas which may enable Myanmar's democrats to remove one of the greatest obstacles to genuine democratization - the continued destruction of a large community of people because of their distinct ethnic identity

Speaker(s)
Emeritus Professor Barbara Harriss-White, Dr Maung Zarni, Emeritus Professor Barbara Harrell-Bond, Daw Khin Hla, Professor Michael Charney, Maung Bo Bo, Professor Shapan Adnan, Dr S Saad Mahmood, Dr Ambia Perveen, Matthew Smith, Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Professor Daniel Feierstein, Professor Maya Tudor, Professor Penny Green, Thomas McManus, Amartya Sen (videotaped at Harvard in 2014), Tomas Ojea Quintana, Dr Azeem Ibrahim, Azril Mohd Amin, Mark Farmaner, Tun Khin, Nurul Islam, Dr Hla Kyaw

Agenda: http://www.southasia.ox.ac.uk/sites/sias/files/documents/Research%20conference%20on%20Rohingya%20Wolfson%20College%20Oxford%20%20%2011%20May%202016%20f.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.southasia.ox.ac.uk/myanmar%E2%80%99s-democratic-transition-what-does-mean-persecuted-rohi...
 
Description Official Opening Session: Permanent People's Tribunal on Myanmar's State Crimes against Rohingya, Kachin and other Groups 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The International State Crime Initiative (Queen Mary University of London) hosted the opening session of the Permanent People's Tribunal on Myanmar's State Crimes against Rohingya, Kachin and other groups. The Permanent People's Tribunal is a people's initiative supported by international grassroots activists and campaign groups working to end Myanmar's systematic persecution of ethnic and religious minorities.

The Tribunal was a major success with victims and experts from around the world providing testimony here in the Law School. The 2 day session was live streamed around the world with viewers from 38 countries and received considerable international press coverage. The final session of the Tribunal will be held in Kuala Lumpur in July 2017.

The tribunal included Kachin and Rohingya representatives along with the Steering Group, Panel of Distinguished Judges and members of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal Secretariat.

All 2 day sessions were live-streamed by Oxford Digital Media https://www.oxforddigitalmedia.com/media-gallery/
It can be viewed on the Official Tribunal Website at: http://tribunalonmyanmar.org/


Monday, 6th March 2017 - Queen Mary University of London

10.00 START

10.00 - 10.15 - Announcement of day's programme by members of Steering Committee and Organising Committee

10.15 - 10.45 - Presentation by the PPT Secretariat stating procedures and methodology

10.45 - 11.00 - Formal presentation of charges of crimes by the representatives of victim communities, focusing on most serious components under international criminal law, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide
Speakers:
? Ronnie, Arakan Rohingya National Organization
? Mr Ring Du Lachung, President, Kachin National Organization (UK)

11.00 - 1200 - Kachin Victim Statement & Expert Statements
Speakers:
? Mr Ring Du Lachung, President, Kachin National Organization (UK)
? Dr Mandy Sadan, Associate Dean of Research (Art and Humanities), School of Oriental and African Studies & author Being and Becoming Kachin: Histories beyond the State in the Borderworlds of Burma (OUP, 2013)
? Dr Maung Zarni, to discuss the persecution of Rohingya and Kachin: the military's perspective

12.00 - 12:30 - Coffee break

12.30 - 13.30 - Rohingya victim statements on 1978 King Dragon Operation against Rohingya (to be followed by Q & A)
Speakers:
? U Ba Sein (Rohingya Blogger, originally from Maung Daw, N. Rakhine State),
? Daw Khin Hla (Rohingya blogger, originally from Maung Daw, N. Rakhine State)

13.30 - 14.30 - LUNCH (individual interviews with press)
Lunch will be provided at the venue by BROUK

14.30 - 16.30 - Expert Testimonies I on the Rohingya -
Speakers:
? Azril and 5 Malaysian Lawyers
? Dr Malik & Tin Khin to present recorded testimonies of Rohingya rape victims, and victims of recent attacks

16.30 - 18.00 - Expert Testimonies II on the Rohingya
? ISCI Team
? Professor Michael Charney on the ethnic identities and claim to indigeneity in Rakhine or Arakan

18.00 END


Tuesday, 7th March - Room 313, School of Law, QMUL

09.00 START

09.00 - 10.00 - Latest Victims' Testimonies from Fresh Arrivals in Bangladesh and Sino-Burmese borders
Speakers:
? Ro Nay San Lwin, Rohingya researcher and blogger, Germany
? Tun Khin, President of Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK)
? Ring Du or Hkan Hpa - for the Kachin
? Key findings from UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee's End of Mission Statements (from her visits to Myanmar and Bangladesh), and OCHR's Flash Report

10:00 - 10:30
Closing remarks/comments/proposals from members of Jury & PPT

10.30 - 12.00 - Press Conference
? Announcement of Future Sessions by PTT
? Recorded/Written Statements
? The Dalai Lama's Written Statement (3 minutes)
? Amartya Sen's recorded elaboration on the slow genocide of Rohingya (5 minutes)
Line-up for press conference speakers:
? Lord Ahmed, PPT Jury Member
? PPT Representative
? BROUK/Arakan Rohingya National Organization Representative
? KNO Representative Ms Kai Htang Lashi

Formal Closing Remarks by Representative from the Host (International State Crime Initiative)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://tribunalonmyanmar.org/
 
Description The Oslo Conference to End Myanmar's Persecution of the Rohingyas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact At the Oslo Conference to End Myanmar's Persecution of Rohingyas held at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway on 26th May 2015, former UN Special Rapporteur (2008-2014) Tomas Ojea Quintana, Prof Penny Green and Conference Organiser and Co-Chair Dr Maung Zarni discussed in-depth Myanmar's policies of persecution (24 minutes; parts 1 and 2):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbA-ZKSl4vw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzQHlJWpeII

This conference session included Prof Penny Green, Dr Thomas MacManus and Alicia de la Cour Venning (all of the International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London) discussing their recent fieldwork findings on the Rohingya persecution, arguing that a genocide process is ongoing (17 minutes):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaVSOvZomfg
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015