U.S. House of Representatives Says Myanmar Crimes Against Rohingya Are Genocide


The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Thursday declaring that the crimes committed by Myanmar’s security forces against Rohingya Muslims constitute genocide—a notable move given that the U.S. State Department has yet to make such a designation. “With this resolution, the House fulfills its …duty,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) said in floor remarks in support of the resolution. The resolution passed with a vote of 394 to 1. It also calls for “the immediate pardon and release” of Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have spent more than a year in prison for their work exposing the massacre of Myanmar’s Muslim minority. The State Department this week defended its decision to not yet label the crimes—which based on its own reporting included acts of mass killing, destruction, and sexual violence—as genocide. That report, quietly released in September, found that violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State was “extreme, large-scale, widespread, and seemingly geared toward both terrorizing the population and driving out the Rohingya residents.”

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