GJC in the News

Myanmar’s Silence on Rape Against Rohingya Is Cruel and Dangerous

Excerpt of Pass Blue op-ed by GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan.

Last month, the world was struck by an unusual image — that of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi — standing in court to defend and deny genocide. What was striking was not only what she and Myanmar’s legal team said but also what wasn’t said: the total failure of Myanmar to respond to the allegations of mass sexual violence against the Rohingya, including rape.

As Prof. Philippe Sands, counsel for The Gambia, which brought the case against Myanmar, said, “Madame agent, your silence says far more than your words.”

In fact, the words “sexual violence” passed through the lips of Myanmar’s team just once during the three-day hearings at the International Court of Justice in December, only to say that it is “a phenomenon that regrettably occurs in many parts of the world and that we all condemn unequivocally.”

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Myanmar finds war crimes but no genocide in Rohingya crackdown

Excerpt of Al Jazeera article that features GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan.

But refugees carried consistent accounts of widespread murder, rape, torture and arson with them and have so far largely refused to return for fear of their safety.

“All signs point to what human rights experts and Rohingya themselves already know, which is that the government has no intention of bringing perpetrators of mass rape and other genocidal crimes to justice,” Akila Radhakrishnan, president of the Global Justice Center said in a statement.

“This Commission is just yet another domestic attempt to deflect responsibility and whitewash the situation of the Rohingya.”

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Human Rights Watch Blasts China for Rights Violations at Home and Abroad

Excerpt of Inter Press Service article that features GJC President Akila Radhakrishnan.

Meanwhile, Roth also echoed thoughts from experts who have previously said that one of the reasons the Security Council had not been able to take steps against Myanmar is because of pressure from China. 

In November, on the heels of a lawsuit being filed against Myanmar by the Gambia, Akila Radhakrishnan of the Global Justice Center expressed similar concerns to IPS.

“Security council has consistently failed to act because of China — there’s no possibility of any strong action,” Radhakrishnan had said, reiterating why it’s important for states to directly take action against Myanmar.  

In that regard, especially with Roth’s concerns about China “intimidation of other governments” with threatsone issue of concern would be China’s relations with the Gambia, which has grown in the past few years. 

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The Rohingya genocide: A crisis we’ve stopped talking about

Excerpt of The New Daily article that features a GJC tweet.

The Nobel peace prize Laureate, once heralded as a human rights champion, also said the government was working to boost “social cohesion” between the Rohingya people and the rest of the country.

“Mr President, how can there be an ongoing genocide or genocidal intent when these concrete steps are being taken in Rakhine?” she said.

Human rights groups have refuted Ms Suu Kyi’s version of events.

The Global Justice Centre slammed her picture of an internal military conflict with “no genocidal intent” against the Rohingya as “completely false”.

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The Persistent Danger of Trump’s Definition of “Unalienable Rights”

Excerpt of Ms. Magazine op-ed by GJC's Elena Sarver.

The State Department’s newly formed Unalienable Rights Commission held its third public meeting today. It’s been six months since the commission was first announced in July 2019 by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but it’s important to not lose sight of the dangers this commission poses.

To start, the very existence of this group as a way to determine and define human rights fundamentally distorts and misunderstands the very nature of human rights—they cannot be limited based on the views of a single government. Further, we should be most alarmed at its obvious intent: to erode long-established human rights in service of a regressive agenda, with clear antagonism toward abortion rights in particular.

At the outset, the commission is working under a seriously flawed premise. Universal human rights norms exist to hold states accountable: they cannot be defined or redefined based on the demands of an individual administration. Especially an administration like Trump’s, which has systematically disengaged from, rejected and attempted to erode the human rights system since its inauguration.

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