Myanmar will refuse entry to members of a United Nations investigation focusing on allegations of killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims, an official has said.
The government, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, had already said it would not cooperate with a mission set up after a human rights council resolution was adopted in March.
“If they are going to send someone with regards to the fact-finding mission, then there’s no reason for us to let them come,” said Kyaw Zeya, permanent secretary at the ministry of foreign affairs in the capital, Naypyidaw, on Friday.
“Our missions worldwide are advised accordingly,” he said, explaining that visas to enter Myanmar would not be issued to the mission’s appointees or staff.
Aung San Suu Kyi, who came to power last year amid a transition from military rule, leads Myanmar through the specially created position of “state counsellor”, but is also minister of foreign affairs.
Although she does not oversee the military, Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for the more than 1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims in the western state of Rakhine.
She said during a trip to Sweden this month the UN mission “would have created greater hostility between the different communities”. The majority in Rakhine are ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who, like many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, see the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.