UN rights committee urges Myanmar to allow full citizenship for persecuted Rohingya minority

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The U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee has approved a resolution urging Myanmar to allow its persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority "access to full citizenship on an equal basis."

The committee adopted the resolution by consensus Friday, though Myanmar's ambassador criticized its language.

Myanmar's 1.3 million Rohingya have been denied citizenship and have almost no rights. Authorities want to officially categorize them as "Bengalis," implying they are illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh. People who refuse that identity become candidates for detainment and possible deportation.

The European Union-drafted, non-binding resolution is one piece of international pressure on the predominantly Buddhist Southeast Asian country to change its approach.

The Rohingya have emerged as a sensitive issue as Myanmar tries to move away from decades of repressive military rule toward democracy.