Three female Nobel peace laureates have accused Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the military of the “genocide” of Rohingya.
Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen made the accusation during a press conference on Wednesday in Dhaka shortly after visiting Rohingya refugee camps in the southern Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar.
The mission of the Nobel Women’s Initiative was launched so that the three Nobel laureates could witness the plight of Rohingya women in the squalid refugee camps.
They urged Myanmar’s defacto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to condemn the violence against Rohingya refugees or possibly face prosecution for genocide.
Aung San Suu Kyi “is directly responsible for the crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya Muslims,” said Ebadi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
The three called on Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, to stop the persecution of the minority group.
“Our Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, she is the chancellor of the Myanmar government, and she is silent, she did not tell the truth to the world … she should wake up and stop this genocide,” said Karman, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 along with Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her compatriot Leymah Gbowee.
“As Nobel laureates, we accuse the Myanmar government and the military of the crimes of genocide. That is why we plan to take the Myanmar government to the International Court of Justice,” said Maguire, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for conflict resolution in Northern Ireland.
Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh after Myanmar’s military launched an offensive against suspected Rohingya militants in northern Rakhine State on August 25. The United Nations and the United States say the government’s actions amount to ethnic cleansing.