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UN HR expert Lee due Saturday in Bangladesh for discussing Rohingya issues

  • Published at 12:58 pm January 19th, 2019
Web-Yanghee Lee
File photo of United Nations Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee

She also plans to visit the island of Bhashan Char in Noakhali

The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee is due to arrive in Bangladesh on Saturday to observe the Rohingya situation in the Cox's Bazar district, despite being barred from entering Myanmar.

Yanghee Lee, the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, will be arriving here from Thailand where she has been since January 14.

Lee- who earlier said incidents in Rakhine State bear the "hallmarks of genocide" and called for accountability in the strongest terms- also plans to visit the island of Bhashan Char in Noakhali as the Bangladesh government has planned to shift the Rohingyas there.

In a statement announcing Yanghee Lee’s Thailand and Bangladesh visit, she said: "I still seek to engage with the Myanmar government and I remain committed to my mandate to monitor the situation of human rights in Myanmar. 

“I'll continue to meet with people from Myanmar and speak out about human rights issues that occur around the country.”

The Myanmar government has maintained its decision to cease cooperation with the special envoy, and refused her entry to Myanmar.

According to a message issued from Geneva, Lee will present her findings and recommendations at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2019.

The Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar are the victims of human rights violations committed amidst the violence that erupted in August 2017 forcing over 800,000 Rohingya people to take refuge in Bangladesh.

They have been living in camps administered by the UNHCR and the Bangladesh government with support from several UN agencies and international NGOs since August 2017.

On January 9, the United Nations appealed to all sides in Myanmar to intensify efforts to find a peaceful solution to the situation and to ensure humanitarian access to all people affected by the violence.

The acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar, Knut Ostby, said they are "deeply concerned" about the situation in northern and central Rakhine State, where an estimated 4,500 people have been displaced so far due to recent hostility.