The senior United Nations official for human rights said Tuesday that it is impossible to safely send Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh back to Myanmar because widespread and systematic violence appears to be continuing against them in Myanmar, amounting to "ethnic cleansing".
Reports of bulldozing of alleged mass graves showed a "deliberate attempt by the authorities to destroy evidence of potential global crimes, including possible crimes against humanity", Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein added in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council.
Gilmour said the ongoing violence makes it impossible to send Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh back to Myanmar.
The "frenzied" scale of unspeakable violence against the minority Muslim Rohingya community in Myanmar has shifted to a "lower intensity campaign of terror and forced starvation", seemingly meant to drive the remaining Rohingyas from their homeland, a senior United Nations human rights official has warned.
"It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists", Gilmour said in a statement issued after his visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Myanmar's government spokesman did not answer repeated calls for comment on Gilmour's statement. In the Council, its delegation is allowed to respond on Thursday.
Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour, who has just visited Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, made the conclusion, said the United Nations spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.More news: Kevin De Bruyne: 'Manchester City want record points haul'
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A fact-finding mission set up by the Council, headed by former Indonesian Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman, is due to report on Monday on its initial findings based on interviews with victims and survivors in Bangladesh and other countries.
Pending their final report, the UN General Assembly should establish a new independent mechanism to expedite criminal proceedings in courts against those responsible, Zeid said.
Myanmar's government denies such abuses and announced in January it was ready to accept the return of refugees.
Gilmour also praised the humanitarian response of Bangladesh and other worldwide organizations to the Rohingya refugee crisis, but warned that the rainy season could leave "a devastating effect" on the refugee camps. "The first reason is that Burma will only take a few and secondly is that the refugees will never return if they fear persecution", he added, using another name for Myanmar.
Bangladesh and Myanmar authorities had held talks over repatriating refugees in the coming months, but a build up of Myanmar military on the border last week sparked concern.
But the plan has courted controversy from the outset.
"They (Myanmar) are absolute evil", he added.