Canada MPs, in symbolic move, vote to strip Suu Kyi of citizenship

Canada MPs, in symbolic move, vote to strip Suu Kyi of citizenship

Canada MPs, in symbolic move, vote to strip Suu Kyi of citizenship

The 47-member council voted 35 to three, with seven abstentions, to "establish an ongoing investigative mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence" of global crimes committed in Myanmar since 2011 and "prepare files... to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings".

China, along with the Philippines and Burundi, voted against the Human Rights Council motion on Thursday to establish the panel which will also look into possible genocide in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine.

The remainder either abstained or refrained from casting a vote.

The council's decision, which was immediately hailed by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and other rights groups, will go to the UN General Assembly in NY for final approval. The report also examined abuses by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army and by government forces and ethnic armed groups in Shan and Kachin States.

Human Rights Watch said the UNHCR took an important step for justice by creating the body to pinpoint criminal responsibility for the "countless atrocities" in Myanmar.

Myanmar Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun said the resolution was based on the report of a United Nations fact-finding mission (FFM) that his government had categorically rejected, and which was unbalanced, one-sided and encouraged disunity of the country.

In a summary submitted to the UNHCR on Aug 27, the panel said Myanmar's military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya with "genocidal intent" and called for commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and five generals to be prosecuted for the gravest crimes under worldwide law.

An aerial view shows burned down villages once inhabited by the Rohingya seen from the Myanmar military helicopters that carried the United Nations envoys to northern Rakhine state, Myanmar, May 1, 2018.

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Myanmar has denied the claims, saying that it was fighting back against militants.

Ottawa had awarded the symbolic honour, which does not afford Canadian rights or privileges, to the Nobel laureate in 2007 after she endured years of house arrest as a political prisoner.

Speaking at the UN, Trudeau said it's something MPs could debate.

Presenting Thursday's resolution to the council on behalf of the OIC, Pakistan's ambassador Farukh Amil said the situation in Myanmar was a "grave tragedy that merited an exceptional and robust response from the global community".

Austria's ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said "unless impunity is urgently addressed, similar outbreaks of violence and atrocities may continue with further devastating domestic and regional impact".

"While the UN's Human Rights Council has today taken meaningful action in the fight for justice in Myanmar, more work remains to be done".

Thursday's decision marks the first time the Rights Council has itself opted to create such a mechanism.

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