South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

NEW YORK: The Myanmar military units, which committed war crimes against Rohingya Muslims in 2017, are still committing atrocities against the minority group, according to a new report from Amnesty International, a leading human rights group.

The report says the Myanmar military is guilty of committing new “war crimes,” including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and torture in its fight against ethnic Rakhine rebels. It claims these offenses were committed by soldiers from the Rakhine-based Western Command, a military unit also implicated in atrocities against the Rohingya in August 2017.

Amnesty International said it conducted 81 interviews, including 54 interviews on the ground in Rakhine State in late March 2019 and 27 remote interviews with people living in conflict-affected areas. They included ethnic Rakhine, Mro, Rohingya and Khami villagers, belonging to the Buddhist, Christian and Muslim faiths. The organization also reviewed photographs, videos and satellite imagery, and interviewed humanitarian officials, human rights activists and other experts.

The latest wave of violence exploded in Rakhine State in January when rebels from the Arkhan Army killed 13 police officers. In response, the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi ordered the military to “crush” the group — but Amnesty’s report claims the army went much further, killing innocent men, women and children.

“The new operations in Rakhine State show an unrepentant, unreformed and unaccountable military terrorizing civilians and committing widespread violations as a deliberate tactic,” Nicholas Bequelin, regional director for East and Southeast Asia at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

The report documents seven unlawful attacks that killed 14 civilians and injured at least 29 more. It also details incidents of torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.

The military admitted last month to killing six unarmed detainees, saying it did so because they tried to grab the soldiers’ weapons.—APP


Updated On: May 29, 2019