Bashir: The suffering of stateless people cannot be denied

Apr 11, 2017


Today the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee backed ECR MEP Amjad Bashir’s call to end statelessness that leaves millions vulnerable to persecution.

This follows Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi denial that the world’s largest group of stateless people, the Rohingyas, are being ethnically cleansed. The Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted people in the world and have been stateless since the Burmese nationality law denied them citizenship. In recent weeks the military has intensified its crackdown on the Rohingya which many are believe to be an attempt to ethnically cleanse Myanmar.

Mr Bashir said: “I welcome today’s vote that 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 own initiative report calls on the international community, including the EU and the UN, 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 continues his campaign to make statelessness a priority. As part of that campaign he visited the United Nations Human Rights Council where he called on the UN to do more. The next step following the committees support is for the proposals to be voted on by all MEPs in May.

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