Myanmar’s junta has revoked the license of a publishing house to sell a popular foreign book on the army’s brutal crackdown on the Rohingya minority, state media reported on Tuesday.
During the military crackdown in 2017, millions of Rohingya Buddhist-majority fled Myanmar, bringing with them shocking reports of killings, rapes and arson.
In March, the United States officially declared that violence against the Rohingya amounted to genocide, with clear evidence of attempts to “destroy” the group.
According to a statement from the state-sponsored Myanmar Alin newspaper, Irish-Australian academic Ronan Lee’s license was revoked after it was proved that he was offering “Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide” for sale online.
According to the author’s website, the book explores the history and identity of the Rohingya and documents historical marginalization and abuse against the community.
It relies heavily on Rohingya testimony and historical research and has been praised by foreign commentators on Myanmar and the Rohingya.
The book violates the “Publishing and Printing Law” offered for sale, according to a statement from Myanmar’s Alin, which prohibits expressions that could lead to “ethnic and cultural violence between ethnic groups.”
On May 28, Lwin Oo’s operating license was revoked, the notice said.
The publisher could not be reached for comment.
About 900,000 Rohingya are currently living in neighboring Bangladesh in the world’s largest refugee camp.
An estimated 600,000 Rohingya are still living in Myanmar as they are widely seen as Bangladeshi immigrants and have been denied access to their citizenship, rights and services.
Junta leader Min Aung Hlaing – who was the head of the armed forces during the 2017 crackdown – dismissed the word Rohingya as “a fictional word”.
Under the previous junta, all books, newspapers and magazines had to be submitted to government censors for verification before publication.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)