US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken has called for a full and transparent investigation into the murder of Rohingya rights activist Mohibullah with the goal of holding the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable.
“We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the murder of Rohingya Muslim advocate and community leader Mohibullah in Bangladesh on September 29. Mohibullah was a brave and fierce advocate for the human rights of Rohingya Muslims around the world,” Blinken said in a statement early Friday.
He recalled that Mohibullah had traveled to the Human Rights Council in Geneva and to the United States to speak at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in 2019.
Mohibullah, 46, was the chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH).
“During his trip, he shared his experiences with the [US] president and vice president, and spoke together with other survivors of religiously motivated persecution,” read the statement.
Blinken said that they would honor his work by continuing to advocate for Rohingya and lift up the voices of members of the community in decisions about their future.
Condemnations have poured after Mohib Ullah was shot dead by some unidentified assailants at Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar at around 8pm on Wednesday, according to the police.
Several witnesses said they had recognized at least three attackers out of the 20-25 during the shooting, claiming them to be members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the group responsible for launching violent attacks on the Myanmar security forces since 2016.
Last week, the United States announced nearly $180 million in additional humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the region.
With this new funding, the total humanitarian assistance by the US reaches more than $1.5 billion since August 2017, when over 740,000 Rohingya were forced to flee ethnic cleansing and other horrific atrocities and abuses in Rakhine State to safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, read the statement.
The US also demanded that the military junta immediately stop the violence, release all those unjustly detained, restore its path to democracy, and implement Asean’s Five Point Consensus.
“Many of those who led the [February 1] military coup in Burma are the same individuals responsible for the atrocities against Rohingya, as well as atrocities and other human rights abuses against members of other ethnic and religious minority groups,” the State Department said on September 22.
In the last few months, the US imposed sanctions on several military rulers and related entities, freezing any of their US assets and barring Americans from dealing with them.