WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement calling on the Government of Burma to cease its persecution of the Rohingya ethnic minority, and to take immediate steps to reverse the conditions that have created the unfolding humanitarian and refugee crisis for the Rohingya people:
“There are significant ties between Oregon and the Rohingya community, and I share Oregonians’ concern about the escalating violence in Burma, which has led to the recent displacement of nearly 400,000 Rohingya and horrific death and suffering. The persecution of vulnerable Rohingya minorities, who are at risk of statelessness due to having been denied citizenship by the Government of Burma, bears the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing.
“This is a human rights issue; it is an issue of Burma’s adherence to international legal commitments; and it has become a humanitarian crisis for the refugees fleeing into Bangladesh.
“I join my colleagues in Congress in our bipartisan call for the security forces of Burma to stop their persecution of the Rohingya, and for the Government of Burma to take immediate steps to facilitate access for humanitarian groups on both sides of the border and reverse decades of denial of rights to the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities.”