Chabot, Engel, Royce Call for the Release of the Reuters Journalists and Deem the Atrocities Against the Rohingya A Genocide
Chabot, Engel, Royce Call for the Release of Reuters Journalists and Deem the Atrocities Against the Rohingya a Genocide
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; introduced H.Res. 1091 yesterday. This legislation calls for the release of the Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who were unjustly sentenced earlier this month, and states the House’s position that the atrocities committed by the Burmese military against the Rohingya were genocide.
Original cosponsors include: Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), and Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.).
“I remain absolutely horrified at the crimes the Burmese military committed against the Rohingya last Fall and the Burmese civilian government’s decision to wrongfully imprison Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo,” Chabot said. “These journalists were imprisoned and silenced on trumped up charges for attempting to verify the facts of this genocide. As a co-chair of the House Freedom of the Press Caucus, I am deeply disturbed that any journalist, much less ones from a highly respected news agency like Reuters, would face such shameful treatment. I join my colleagues in calling for their immediate release and urge the Trump Administration to continue to work toward that end. I also believe that it is time we call these atrocities against the Rohingya what they are: genocide. Pre-planned murders, gang rapes, the burning of villages, and many other gruesome and heinous crimes that cannot be discussed in a civilized setting make this self-evident. If this determination wasn’t obvious before, the recent report from the State Department on the crimes should leave little doubt in anyone’s mind. The perpetrators must be held accountable.”
“The Burmese military is engaging in horrific violence against Rohingya men, women and children,” Royce said. “Their actions amount to genocide. And now two Reuters reporters are being held by the Burmese government for trying to shed a light on Burma’s vicious and hateful actions. I am pleased to support Rep. Chabot’s bill, which rightly calls on Burma to release these journalists.”