Evidence of Rohingya massacre in Myanmar

Frederick Owens
February 10, 2018

The 4,600-word report, published on February 9, is accompanied by images of the 10 massacre victims before and after they were killed by villagers and soldiers at Inn Din on September 2 past year.

More than 680,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017, bringing with them stories of mass murder and destruction at the hands of the country's military.

The report detailed how Myanmar's security forces and local Buddhists allegedly used acid to disfigure Rohingya victims of a massacre in Gu Dar Pyin village, Buthidaung township, to make it hard to identify the bodies.

Reuters said it was told by more than a dozen Buddhist villagers that the military and paramilitary police had organised Buddhist residents of Inn Din and in at least two other villagers to torch Rohingya homes.

On Sept. 2, Buddhist villagers and Myanmar troops killed the 10 men in Myanmar's restive Rakhine state.

"One grave for 10 people", said Soe Chay, 55, a retired soldier from Inn Din's Rakhine Buddhist community who said he helped dig the pit and saw the killings.

Myanmar officials have repeatedly said that all preparations have been made and they are ready to accept refugees.

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That possibility has prompted the government of Myanmar to take precautionary steps to be more on guard against ISIS, he said.

If there was "strong and reliable primary evidence" of abuses, the government would investigate, he said.

Myanmar has been anxious that groups of radicals of the Iraq and Syria Islamic States (ISIS) night slip into that country using the opportunity with the return of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh, Wiranto said. British Labour Party lawmaker Rosena Allin-Khan told BBC's Newsnight that the Reuters report was consistent with accounts she had heard while working as a doctor at Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh a year ago.

In what global observers including the United Nations have said amounts to ethnic cleansing, the Myanmar military and militias have since driven out hundreds of thousands of the country's Rohingya minority in a campaign of killings, burning and rape. "We thought it was time to go with it". "Their only crime was to take an interest in the atrocities by Myanmar's security forces against the country's Rohingya minority, which resulted in an exodus of around 700,000 refugees", Daniel Bastard, head of Reporters Without Borders' Asia-Pacific desk, told The Washington Post via email.

The army account is disputed by other witnesses, who agree that the military did not face a large-scale assault from villagers.

The pair are now facing up to 14 years in prison on charges of possessing classified documents in violation of the colonial-era Official Secrets Act.

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