Press Release

ADL Calls for American Leadership to Stop Atrocities Against Rohingya Muslims

New York, NY, October 4, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the U.S. State Department to turn up the pressure on the Burmese government to stop the violence and other atrocities being perpetrated against Rohingya Muslims.

In a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, ADL welcomed the government’s allocation of $32 million in relief to Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar as a positive first step. But it said “more drastic action” was necessary given the severity of the crisis and rising death toll. Additional actions could include pressuring the Burmese government to speak out against the violence or imposing financial and other punitive measures against the security forces.

“As Americans and Jews, we cannot stand silent in the face of the slaughter and expulsion of the Rohingya on the basis of their ethnicity or religion,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Absent significant international pressure the violence against the Rohingya will only worsen in the coming weeks. We believe the U.S. and the international community should take more drastic action to quell the violence and combat these discriminatory abuses against the Rohingya before more lives are lost.”

ADL is collecting signatures in an online petition calling on the United States to take strong action, with policies that could include imposing concrete penalties, including sanctions, on the Burmese security forces. The petition cites reports that half a million Rohingya have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since the latest round of violence in August in Rakhine State. While the exact death toll is not yet known, it is estimated that hundreds – and possibly thousands – of Rohingya Muslims have been murdered, and more than a third of villages in the area have been cleared of civilians.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias curricula for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.