Australian Government sanctions against Myanmar military ‘would be a welcome first step’ in accountability for Rohingya abuse

In response to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s announcement today that the Government is considering options in response to the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission to Myanmar’s report, including targeted sanctions, Amnesty International’s National Director Claire Mallinson said,

“Amnesty International Australia welcomes Minister Payne’s consideration of targeted sanctions against key individuals in the Myanmar military, as detailed in the UN Fact-finding Mission to Myanmar’s final report. Sanctions would be a welcome first step in achieving accountability for the crimes against humanity committed by the Myanmar military against the Rohingya people.

“Amnesty International has been calling on the Australian Government to impose sanctions on the same six men as well as seven other individuals we have named as implicated in committing crimes against humanity during the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population in northern Rakhine State.

“If any of the named 13 have financial interests in Australia, the Australian Government must impose targeted economic sanctions upon them.

“If any of the named 13 travel here, Australia should exercise universal jurisdiction by arresting them and trying them here.

“The Australian Government must also cut Australia’s training support to the Tatmadaw – $398,000 was allocated in the ‘17/18 Budget – and explore all avenues for accountability and justice for the crimes committed in Myanmar, in particular an immediate mechanism for evidence collection and preservation for future criminal prosecutions at the International Criminal Court.

“The explosion of violence – including murder, rape, torture, burning and forced starvation – perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces in villages across northern Rakhine State was not the action of rogue soldiers or units. There is a mountain of evidence that this was part of a highly orchestrated, systematic attack on the Rohingya population.


Amnesty International’s 27 June report ’We Will Destroy Everything’: Military Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Rakhine State, Myanmar, names 13 members of the Myanmar military – including the six named in the UN Fact-finding Mission to Myanmar’s final report tabled yesterday – as needing to be referred to the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity against the Rohingya people in northern Rakhine State.