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Joint Open Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo

58 Organizations Support Petition Urging Secretary Pompeo to Publicly Determine that
Myanmar has Committed Genocide and Crimes against Humanity against the Rohingya
People

July 16, 2020 

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

We write to urge the U.S. Department of State to publicly determine that the state of Myanmar has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people. The evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity is clear and convincing and has been amply documented. In making such a determination, the United States would help lead the world in holding the state of Myanmar accountable for grave abuses and in preventing further atrocities. 

Beyond enhancing international accountability efforts, a U.S. government determination of genocide and crimes against humanity would subject Myanmar and its military to much needed international scrutiny at a time when the military continues to target Rohingya and other civilians in Myanmar. In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that is the predominant focus of governments around the world, a  determination would also help to ensure continued international attention on the plight of the Rohingya, while enabling the United States to mobilize additional diplomatic and economic pressure on Myanmar to shift its behavior. This attention could offer a measure of protection for the Rohingya and others in Myanmar. It would also represent an expression of solidarity with the governments of Bangladesh and other refugee hosting countries, signaling the United States is committed both to accountability and supporting conditions for safe and voluntary return when conditions so permit.

Such a determination would be wholly consistent with findings of the Department of State, which concluded that the attacks on the Rohingya were “well-planned and coordinated” and that they were “extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seemingly geared toward both terrorizing the population and driving out the Rohingya residents.” The law group engaged by the State Department to investigate atrocities against the Rohingya conducted its own legal analysis and found reasonable grounds to believe that genocide was committed. A UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission similarly found “a pattern of conduct that infers genocidal intent on the part of the State to destroy the Rohingya, in whole or in part, as a group.” The Fact Finding Mission has further warned, “The State of Myanmar continues to harbour genocidal intent and the Rohingya remain under serious risk of genocide.”

Now is the time to use the words that fit the crimes. U.S. leadership matters. We call upon you to demonstrate the moral leadership and courage necessary to push global action in the face of genocide. 

1.     21Wilberforce

2.     Action Corps

3.     Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma)

4.     Americans for Rohingya

5.     Arakan Rohingya National Organization

6.     Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights

7.     Bethany Christian Service

8.     Burma Campaign UK

9.     Burma Human Rights Network

10.  Burma Rohingya Organization UK

11.  Burma Task Force

12.  Burma Rohingya Association of North America

13.  Burmese Rohingya Association of Japan

14.  Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark

15.  Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organization

16.  Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative

17.  Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice

18.  Christian Solidarity Worldwide

19.  Eastern Pennsylvania Karen Community

20.  European Rohingya Council

21.  Fortify Rights

22.  Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

23.  Global Witness

24.  HIAS

25.  Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust

26.  Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University

27.  International Campaign for the Rohingya

28.  International Interfaith Peace Corps

29.  International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London

30.  Jewish World Watch

31.  Justice4Rohingya UK

32.  Justice for All

33.  Kaladan Press Network

34.  Karen Community of Akron, Inc.

35.  Karen Organization of America

36.  Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

37.  Never Again Coalition

38.  Partners Relief and Development

39.  Progressive Voice

40.  Queensland Rohingya Community Inc.

41.  Refugees International

42.  Restless Beings

43.  Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

44.  Rohingya Action Ireland

45.  Rohingya Human Rights Monitoring Network

46.  Rohingya Human Rights Network

47.  RohingyaKhobor

48.  Rohingya Post

49.  Rohingya Refugee Network

50.  Rohingya Student Network

51.  Rohingya Student Union

52.  Rohingya Women Education Initiative

53.  Rohingya Youth for Legal Action

54.  STAND: The student-led movement to end mass atrocities

55.  Step Ahead

56.  Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

57.  US Campaign for Burma

58.  WITNESS