Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Riz Ahmed and many others have signed an open letter condemning the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya going on in Myanmar.
The letter, published by The Guardian, begins with startling statistics of just how many people have been affected by this modern genocide. "More than 600,000 Rohingya people have been driven from their homes, had their land destroyed, and endured torture and rape while searching for safety," it reads. This letter comes after the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a statement on Monday condemning the violence. While the step was significant, it fell short of a stronger motion proposed by Western nationals but opposed by China, reports Time.
The open letter calls out the blatant ethnic cleansing being hidden under the guise of fighting terrorism and insurgency. It states that since the end of August, "almost half the Rohingya popular in Myanmar has been driven out – one of the fastest movements of people in recent decades."
The Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim people group, have faced official and social discrimination. Though they have lived in Myanmar for centuries, they have been denied citizenship, access to education, healthcare, and other basic services.
The letter addresses the international response to the Rohingya crisis calling the lack of sufficient political pressure from world leaders one of the contributing factors. It pleads with corporations who have invested in the region to speak out against the genocide and asks them to divest if human rights are not respected.
Published yesterday, the letter brings up an important opportunity to speak about the crisis. This Friday, world leaders are gathering at a joint summit between the U.N. and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. "The Rohingya crisis is nowhere on the agenda," the letter mentions. According to the Washington Post, the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that stopping the violence against the Rohingyas is "an absolutely essential priority."
The letter ends by making the salient point that, "After every atrocity, we say: 'Never again.' We must mean it."
Read These Stories Next: