27 June 2018Hot off the Press
Amnesty International has accused 13 officials, including Burmese Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlang, of playing a key role in the murder, rape and deportation of Burma’s Rohingya minorities.
Following a nine-month investigation into the treatment of the Rohingya in Burma’s western state of Rakhine, the human rights group says its report is the most comprehensive account of how the military forced 700,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh after 25 August 2017.
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority of about 1 million people, who lived primarily in Rakhine State before seeking refuge en masse in Bangladesh.
Amnesty International’s senior crisis advisor Matthew Wells said the report shows that the Burmese military “brought Rohingya men and boys to detention sites where they tortured them and carried out other forms of ill-treatment.”
“It shows that in several villages they massacred men, women and children, and in villages across northern Rakhine State … security forces raped and committed other sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls.”
The Burmese Government has consistently denied allegations of systematic atrocities, and told the United Nations Security Council last year that ethnic cleansing and genocide were not being carried out in the country.
However, Amnesty International was prevented from conducting inspections in Burma, so resorted to other methods, including using interviews, satellite imagery, photographic evidence and forensic analysis, and tracking the movements of troops using social media.
In its report, Amnesty International has identified nine distinct forms of crimes against humanity.
It has now called for the evidence to be referred to the International Criminal Court for investigation and prosecution, as well as the imposition of arms embargoes and financial sanctions.