Rohingya Muslims subjected to systematic massacre, rape in Myanmar: Rights group
Dhaka :An international group of medical experts says evidence collected from Rohingya Muslims’ accounts proves that the highly-persecuted minority is subjected to systematic massacre and rape in Myanmar.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said in a report on Friday that the refugees’ accounts of being shot, hacked and injured by explosives were supported by forensic evidence.
The US-based NGO, which investigates mass atrocities globally, added that the report was based on the findings its physicians recorded after they examined survivors in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The detailed report mainly focused on refugees from the village of Chut Pyin in Myanmar where security forces, according to survivors and inhabitants of neighboring rural areas, fired on civilians, raped women and burned homes. The PHR report estimates that hundreds of people were killed in the village.
“The evidence we’ve collected from our field investigations, and the forensic evidence in particular, indicate that a large-scale and well-coordinated attack was perpetrated on the civilians, particularly the Rohingya civilians, living in Chut Pyin on the afternoon of August 27th last year – almost a year ago – that involved the use of guns, machetes, multiple types of weapons, against women, children and men who lived in that village,” said Homer Venters, the PHR director of programs.
Rohingya refugees reaching Bangladesh say violence persists against them in Myanmar and the overall environment remains “menacing” for the Muslim minority.
Rohingya Muslims previously based in Rakhine were subjected to a campaign of killings, rape, and arson attacks by the military backed by the country’s majority Buddhist extremists in what the UN has described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
The brutal campaign has forced some 700,000 Rohingya to flee their homeland since August 2017 and seek refuge in Bangladesh. Many of the displaced Rohingya are either living in squalid camps or just across the border in a plot of land known as the “no man’s land.”
“The fact that so many of these children have multiple types of injuries, and that they’ve been exposed in many cases to physical violence and sexual violence, really puts the lie to this notion that this is any kind of anti-terror campaign”, as the Myanmarese military claimed to be, Venters further said, adding that the incident should be investigated as a crime against humanity.
The Rohingya, who have lived in Myanmar for generations, are denied citizenship and are branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which likewise denies them citizenship.
Their former communities in Myanmar have been razed and Buddhists have been shuttled and settled there in newly-built structures to repopulate the area.