At this event, Dr Thomas MacManus, a key member of the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI), will present the findings of his activist research into ongoing state violence against the Rohingya, which has been described by the United Nations as a case of 'textbook ethnic cleansing'.
For decades, the Rohingya people in Myanmar have been victims of widespread governmental violations that reveal a bleak conclusion: the Rohingya people are being gradually but systematically decimated. Nearly all of Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya live in the western coastal state of Rakhine. The government does not recognise them as citizens, effectively rendering them stateless. State violence against the group has recently escalated further, with 'clearance operations' in Rakhine by the security forces leading to widespread massacres and rape, forced population displacement and the systematic destruction of villages.
The ISCI has, for several years, been at the forefront of activist research on the persecution of the Rohingya people, with an Economic and Social Research Council funded project in 2014–15: Rapid Descent into Genocide in Myanmar? This involved extensive field research in Rakhine, which is notoriously hard to access, and the publication of a ground-breaking report, which provided one of the first international accounts of the crimes taking place.
Dr Thomas MacManus has been involved in the Rohingya project since its inception, and in October 2017 travelled to the refugee camps in Bangladesh, where hundreds of thousands of refugees are now based.
The event will be chaired by Dr Sam Raphael, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster.