AJWS Celebrates the Release of Two Journalists in Burma and Calls for Justice and Accountability on Rohingya Genocide

Leading Global Jewish Human Rights organization declares “silence in the face of genocide is not an option.”

Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), issued this statement:

“Today, we celebrate the release of the two brave journalists in Burma who had been wrongly imprisoned for over 500 days for reporting on the genocide of the Rohingya people perpetrated by the Burmese military. While we celebrate the release of these Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, we will not forget that nearly one million Rohingya who were driven from their homes in Burma are still living in limbo in camps in Bangladesh, stripped of their citizenship rights, vulnerable to illness without access to formal education or livelihoods. The Burmese government and military continue to deny the atrocities they viciously carry out while oppressing multiple ethnic minorities in Burma, including the Rohingya people. We call on everyone to mark this day by listening to the Rohingya people and all in Burma who have suffered from the crimes that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo of Reuters courageously exposed.

“We call on world leaders and especially the United States government to achieve justice and accountability for the genocide against the Rohingya people. In the United States, it is imperative that the U.S. Senate move forward with the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2019, and that the House introduce similar legislation to provide justice to the Rohingya people and other persecuted minorities in Burma, ending the culture of impunity.

“As the leading global Jewish human rights organization supporting the advocates for the human rights of the Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities in Burma, we understand that silence in the face of genocide is not an option. We will not cease our advocacy until justice is achieved for the Rohingya people and all ethnic minorities in Burma.”

About American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading global Jewish organization working to pursue justice and fight poverty in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all. Learn more at www.ajws.org

About American Jewish World Service’s work in Burma

For more than 17 years, AJWS has supported the human rights of ethnic minorities in Burma, including the Rohingya people. AJWS provides direct financial support to more than 30 human rights organizations in Burma that have been working to advance the rights of minority ethnic groups and to create a truly pluralistic and democratic society. Please read more about our work in Burma here.


For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at tdavis@ajws.org.