Portrait of MEP Amjad Bashir in the EP in Strasbourg

MEPs back Bashir report on Myanmar

MEPs have backed proposals by Amjad Bashir to challenge Myanmar and end the suffering of stateless people.

Today the European Parliament’s influential Foreign Affairs Committee voted in favour of a report by the Conservative MEP calling for unified international action to promote the granting of citizenship to the Rohingya people.

The vote came just days after Myanmar’s leaders denied the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas

The Rohingyas, considered one of the most persecuted people in the world, have been stateless since the Burmese nationality law denied them citizenship.

Recent weeks have seen mounting evidence that the Burmese military has intensified its crackdown in Rakhine state, where most Rohingya live, prompting the public denial by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr Bashir, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Today’s vote shows that the Rohingyas have not been forgotten and that their suffering cannot be denied.

“Statelessness makes even simple things in life difficult, such as getting married, getting a job and accessing education or healthcare. At its worst it can lead to hostile discrimination, ethnic cleansing and murder. Sadly this is the case for the Rohingyas.

“My report calls on the international community, including the European Union and the United Nations, to put an end to the denial of citizenship rights. We must recognise progress made in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam. However there are still millions who are persecuted every day. We must do all we can to end this.”

The report is part of Mr Bashir’s campaign to make tackling statelessness a priority. He recently attended the United Nations Human Rights Council where he called on the UN to do more. His report will now go before the full parliament for approval.

Mr Bashir concluded: “I look forward to Parliament voting on my report. It will send a clear message to the international community to act and provide hope to those who need it.”

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