Agence France-Presse

Burma troops kill Rohingya Muslims: Human Rights Watch report

An activist holds a burning Myanmar and UN flag during a protest in Multan on July 22, 2012, against the killing of Muslims in Myanmar. Myanmar security forces have committed serious rights abuses against Muslims in violence-hit western Rakhine state during six weeks of emergency rule, Amnesty International said. Communal violence between ethnic Buddhist Rakhine and local Muslims, including the Rohingya, has left at least 80 people dead and forced tens of thousands out of their homes.
Credit: S. S. Mirza

The “Government Could Have Stopped This” report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemns Burmese security forces for "killings, rape and mass arrest against Rohingya Muslims."

The report documents sectarian violence between two Burmese minority populations, the Arakan Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, in June 2012.

The two groups share a history of violence, but the most recent outburst occurred after an Arakan girl was reportedly gang raped by three Muslim men. Word of the rape prompted revenge killings of Muslims, which then led to an escalation of violence in the city of Sittwe and its surrounding areas. 

According to the HRW press release, "Government restrictions on humanitarian access to the Rohingya community have left many of the over 100,000 people displaced and in dire need of food, shelter, and medical care."

The 56-page report provides details of how “Burmese security forces failed to protect the Arakan and Rohingya from each other and then unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya,” according to Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The government claims it is committed to ending ethnic strife and abuse" Adams said, "but recent events in Arakan State demonstrate that state-sponsored persecution and discrimination persist.”

Human Rights Watch explains the situation in this video:

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