Myanmar’s “Future Victims List”

“We have received information that Rohingya Muslims in Maungdaw township have been prohibited from moving from one village to another unless they register for what is called a “National Verification Card” (NVC), which the Myanmar government claims is a procedural step towards citizenship for the Rohingya. However, any Rohingya who registers for the card is forced to identify himself or herself as “Bengali” not as Rohingya.

Were the government genuinely interested in restoring citizenship to the Rohingya, the first, and most obvious, step would be to repeal the 1982 law that revoked their citizenship in the first place. That done, registration can be undertaken to allow Rohingya to apply for their identity documents using the word “Rohingya”. Forcing them to now refer to themselves as “Bengalis” ensures that they will be ineligible for citizenship if or when the 1982 law is repealed, because they will be on record as self-identified immigrants. By the government’s own prohibition of the word “Rohingya” they are tacitly acknowledging that yes, the Rohingya are Myanmarese by birthright, and must therefore be identified as “Bengali” in order to justify their denial of citizenship.”

In this blogpost, Shahid exposes the Myanmar government’s plan to force the Rohingya to register for a ‘National Verification Card’ as nothing more than preparing a ‘Future Victims List’. He calls for the discriminatory 1982 citizenship law to be repealed so that the Rohingya can instead register for citizenship.

Link: Myanmar’s “Future Victims List”

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