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From Our Member NCJP, Pakistan – Press Release: Human Rights Violations with Rohingya Community in Burma/Myanmar

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Throughout Asia religious and ethnic minorities are major victims for oppression and persecution. Recently the largest crisis in Myanmar/Burma in which as per the international organizations 120,000 Rohingyas have fled the conflict zone and are sheltered in Bangladesh. At least 20,000 people, including women and children are stranded in mountainous terrain between the countries without food or water. The recent attacks were indeed the worst example of tyranny by security forces on Rohingya community in Northern Rakhine State, Burma/Myanmar killing approximately 1300 people as a result of ethnic cleansing.

During his Aug. 27 Sunday Angelus address, His Holiness Pope Francis expressed his closeness and said that he is following the “sad news of the religious persecution of  Rohingya community. Raising his voice against the violence he asked that the members of the ethnic group be given full rights.

Referring to the address of Pope Francis, In a joint statement the President of Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference His Grace Archbishop Joseph Coutts and His Excellency Bishop Joseph Arshad, Chairperson of National Commission for Justice & Peace, a rights’ based organization of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference strongly condemn the attacks on the Rohingya people and expressed their solidarity and closeness with them.

They jointly pleaded that the State Counsellor/Noble Peace Prize Honorable Aung San Suu Kyi being the beacon of peace should ensure the full rights of Rohingya people. Furthermore, they appealed to the democratic Government of Burma/Myanmar to immediately intervene by ceasing all military operations in Northern Rakhine State.

They also urged the International community and in particular the Government of Pakistan to initiate dialogue with their counterparts in Myanmar/Burma to defend human rights of Rohingya people and allow humanitarian organizations to access the affected community.

They also stressed that the humans of our era ought to uphold the values of coexistence and tolerance. The bishops stated that the Catholic Church in Pakistan stands strong with Rohingya people and extend prayers for their safety and wellbeing, hoping that a peaceful solution will be found soon.

NCJP Media Cell