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Interactive Dialogue with the Myanmar Fact Finding Mission
September 19, 2017

Statement by the United States of America as delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 19, 2017

Thank you Mr. President,

The United States thanks the members of the Fact Finding Mission for their efforts to document allegations of human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar.  We hope the Government of Myanmar will utilize these experts’ findings to ensure those responsible for human rights violations and abuses are held accountable.

The United States is deeply alarmed by allegations of widespread human rights violations and abuses committed by security forces and others against the local population in northern Rakhine State, including large numbers of the Rohingya community.  Since August 25, nearly 400,000 people have fled their homes to neighboring Bangladesh.  While we condemn the August 25 attacks on Burmese security forces, we also demand that the Myanmar authorities respond to these attacks in a manner that protects and respects human rights of all, and to thoroughly investigate all allegations of security force abuses, to hold perpetrators to account before independent and impartial courts with fair trial guarantees, and to allow full and unimpeded humanitarian and media access to affected areas.

We are further concerned by reports of security forces committing human rights violations and abuses against civilians in Kachin and Shan States, where security forces are reportedly committing extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary arrest of members of ethnic and religious minorities.

The United States stands ready to work with the government and other stakeholders to overcome the many difficult challenges now facing the people of Myanmar.

The United States would like to know how the international community can support the Fact Finding Mission’s efforts, including attempts to gain access to the country, to document human rights violations in Myanmar?

Thank you.