Wednesday, 17 July 2013

NEWS RELEASE-Myanmar: UN expert greets abolition of notorious border security force in Rakhine State and calls for accountability

Myanmar: UN expert greets abolition of notorious border security force in
Rakhine State and calls for accountability

GENEVA (16 July 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human
rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, today welcomed the
abolition of Nasaka, the notorious border security force operating in
Rakhine State. He urged the authorities to investigate and hold accountable
those members of the force responsible for human rights abuses.

“I have received allegations of the most serious of human rights violations
involving Nasaka, particularly against the local Rohingya population,
including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, and
torture in detention,” Mr. Ojea Quintana said. “I have no doubt that the
violations committed over the years with complete impunity has undermined
the rule of law in Rakhine State, and had serious consequences for the
peaceful coexistence of communities there.”

In his March report* to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur
recommended that the Government suspend all Nasaka’s operations in Rakhine
State and introduce fundamental reforms to this border security force.

“The abolition of Nasaka should not mean that the credible allegations of
widespread and systematic human rights violations committed by its members
are not properly investigated and the perpetrators held to account,” he

“Furthermore, whatever force takes the place of Nasaka, it is vital that
the issue of impunity is addressed,” Mr. Ojea Quintana stressed. “If the
new force is not held accountable for its conduct, then the Government will
not have addressed the underlying problem.”

The human rights expert also urged reforms of the discriminatory laws and
regulations which Nasaka used to extort money from the local Rohingya
population, including with regard to marriage permits, freedom of movement,
registration of new born children, and access to education and employment.

“Reform of discriminatory laws needs to accompany institutional reform, in
line with the country’s national reform efforts,” the Special Rapporteur
said.  “How the Government deals with the situation in Rakhine State is a
good indicator of the depth and commitment of its efforts at the national
level to bring democracy, respect for human rights and national
reconciliation to the people of Myanmar.”

(*) Report available at:  http://www.ohc

Myanmar Government response to report available at:


Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana (Argentina) was appointed by the United Nations
Human Rights Council in May 2008. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent
from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.
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