Rohingya ethnic cleansing ongoing despite Myanmar denials: Amnesty

Rohingya ethnic cleansing ongoing despite Myanmar denials: Amnesty

Rohingya ethnic cleansing ongoing despite Myanmar denials: Amnesty

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 a year ago. Soon afterwards, on the morning of September 2, all 10 lay dead.

"Buddhist villagers interviewed for this article reported no attack by a large number of insurgents on security forces in Inn Din", Reuters said, adding that other interviews had revealed the massacre victims included fishermen, shopkeepers, an imam and two teenaged high school students. The rest were shot by soldiers, two of the gravediggers said.

Reuters' account draws on interviews from the victims' families as well as testimony from villagers and security personnel, confirming the military's role in the incident.

"If they have a place to live, if they have food to eat, they can carry out more attacks", one of the local policeman who took part in the operation said.

Myanmar's government has denied that any massacres occurred and said its investigation team had found no evidence to support the claims made in AP's report. "And we are not giving blanket denials".

The foreign secretary will see first-hand the conditions of the Rohingya who have fled Burma to refugee camps in Bangladesh and discuss with the Burmese government the steps needed to enable them to return to their homes.

Under an agreement made last November, Myanmar was due to start receiving Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh at two reception centers and a temporary camp near Maungdaw in northern Rakhine starting on January 23 and continuing over the next two years.

More than 655,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, escaping a military crackdown in Rakhine state, which many countries and human rights bodies have described as ethnic cleansing.

Police arrested two Reuters reporters, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, on December 12 for allegedly obtaining confidential documents relating to Rakhine and have accused them of violating Myanmar's Official Secrets Act.

Myanmar's campaign against the Muslim Rohingya population in Rakhine state is far from over, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

"As more evidence comes out about the pre-planning and intent of the Myanmar armed forces to wipe out Rohingya villages and their inhabitants, the worldwide community ... needs to focus on how to hold the country's military leaders accountable", said HRW's deputy Asia director Phil Robertson.

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

The reporters are charged with violating an arcane and rarely invoked law known as the Official Secrets Act, which dates from colonial British rule.

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