A human rights group on Wednesday reported “mounting evidence” of “genocide” against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Fortify Rights documented “widespread and systematic attacks on Rohingya civilians” in two Army operations launched after the attacks by Rohingya insurgents in October 2016 and August 2017, reports Efe news.
The investigation was based on over 200 interviews of witnesses and survivors and conducted jointly with the US Holocaust Museum.
“Myanmar Army soldiers and civilian perpetrators slit throats; burned victims alive, including infants and children; beat civilians to death; raped and gang-raped women and children. State security forces opened fire on men, women and children at close range and at a distance and from land and helicopters,” the report said.
Measures proposed in the report to the international community to put an end to the violence include “sanctions on the individuals responsible for crimes in Rakhine, instituting an arms embargo on Myanmar, and referring the situation to the International Criminal Court”.
The Myanmar Army has repeatedly denied committing crimes against the Rohingyas despite the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein describing the situation as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
The latest military offensive in Rakhine has led over 618,000 people to flee from Rakhine and take refuge in camps in Bangladesh.
Another 120,000 Rohingyas have been living in camps for displaced people in Rakhine since the outbreak of sectarian violence in 2012 between the minority and the Buddhist majority in the state.
Myanmar denies citizenship to the Rohingyas – considering them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh – and imposes multiple restrictions on them including restrictions on their movement.