HRW: ‘methodical massacre’ of Rohingya and continued destruction of villages in Myanmar News
HRW: ‘methodical massacre’ of Rohingya and continued destruction of villages in Myanmar

Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] on Tuesday detalied the “methodical massacre” [report] in the Rohingya village of Tula Toli, also known as Min Gyi, in Burma’s Rakhine State on August 30, 2017.

HRW alleges that Tula Toli was attacked by several hundred Burmese soldiers in uniform, as well as ethnic Rakhine villagers armed with machetes who trapped between 1,000 and 2,000 villagers along a river that surrounds the village. Survivors of the attack told HRW that the men were separated from the rest of the villagers and were killed over several hours. The men’s bodies were placed in pits and burned. Many groups of women and children were taken to various homes in the village where the children were killed in front of the women, and the women were then raped and shot. According to HRW, the soldiers then locked the homes behind them and set them on fire with the women still inside the homes.

HRW also announced on Sunday that satellite images have revealed [HRW report] continued destruction of Rohingya villages despite a memorandum of understanding [JURIST report] signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh on November 23 that would result in refugees returning to Myanmar within two months. On November 25, building destruction was detected in Myo Mi Chang village and four villages were found to have building destruction between November 25 and December 2. According to HRW, a total of 354 villages have been damaged or destroyed since the start of violence at the end of August. Of these, 118 were allegedly damaged or destroyed after September 5, which was when Myanmar announced it had ended clearance operations.

HRW has once again called upon the government of Myanmar to stop all violence against the Rohingya people and allow the UN access for humanitarian efforts and for the investigation in a UN-Fact Finding Mission. HRW has also called for other nations to impose targeted sanctions against Burmese military leaders and military owned enterprises.

In total, 655,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh after the Burmese military allegedly committed widespread killings, rapes, arbitrary arrests, and mass arson. Violence began after militants attacked 30 security force outposts and an army base, killing 11 security force personnel. Violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority was called ethnic cleansing [JURIST report] by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in September. Earlier this month, Hussein stated that he could not rule out the possibility that genocide [JURIST report] is occurring in the region. Several groups have previously condemned the human rights violations in Myanmar, including the UN Security Council, Amnesty International, and Myanmar State Counselor and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi [JURIST reports].