Watchdog Doubts Myanmar’s Inquiry to Identify Perpetrators of Rohingya Abuses

Myanmar (Sputnik) – A panel set up by Myanmar to probe atrocities against its Rohingya minority does not seem to be taking its task of apportioning blame seriously, an influential watchdog warned Friday.

“It’s now clear that Myanmar’s new ‘independent commission of inquiry’ into human rights violations committed in Rakhine State will not be a serious and impartial investigation that will identify alleged perpetrators to be brought to justice,” Richard Weir, of Human Rights Watch Asia Division, said.

Myanmar government has been criticized for violence by its security forces against the Muslim minority, which the UN has called an ethnic cleansing. It established a commission of inquiry in July to probe the claims of rights abuses with a stated goal to find those responsible.

But the commission’s chairwoman, Rosario Manalo of the Philippines, said this week there would be no “finger pointing.” She referred to the process of establishing accountability as “quarrelling,” saying it was the opposite of looking for peace.

HRW warned that, based on these remarks, the commission should be treated with heavy skepticism lest Myanmar tried to use it to shield itself from critical scrutiny.

This report prepared by Sputnik