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Myanmar burying the evidence

26 February 2018

"They want to make it hard to find graves, weapons used or any other evidence that would connect the crime scene to the criminals", Brad Adams, HRW's Asia director, told DW.

State media and the Office of the President have also reported construction in several areas across Rakhine State, some of which has been focused on road improvements and has involved clearing villages.

But many Rohingya refuse to return without the guarantee of basic rights and safety.

"First Rakhine vigilantes enter the houses and take the things they want".

Human Rights Watch said the apparent destruction of homes erases evidence for legal claims from the exiled Rohingya. HRW was not able to determine if the villages were still inhabited prior to demolition.

The entrenched "apartheid" of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, which in 2017 erupted into a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign, is emblematic of a broader global trend of dog-whistling, violence, and discrimination against marginalised minorities, Amnesty International has said in its annual report.

UNICEF on Friday called for urgent efforts for almost 720,000 Rohingya children in Bangladesh and Myanmar who are vulnerable to violence and outbreak of diseases.

"We will repatriate [the refugees] immediately after we complete verification", he said, adding that Myanmar was ready to accept as many as 300 refugees a day on both land and river routes once verification is completed.

In Myanmar, Rohingyas are regarded as "illegal immigrants from Bangladesh" by the majority even though members of the minority group are long-time settlers.

TAPI to cater Pakistan's growing energy needs: PM
He assured the Turkmen, Afghan and Indian leaders of Pakistan's full cooperation in making TAPI a success. The pipeline will traverse war-wracked Afghanistan, raising security concerns.

It said they showed clearance operations began in late 2017, but are still ongoing.

The Burmese government has refused to grant visas to the UN Fact-Finding Mission, which was created by the Human Rights Council in March 2106, preventing it from collecting evidence in affected areas of northern Rakhine State.

Free speech will be a key issue for those concerned about human rights this year, the report said.

Others joining the Berlin conference for discussions on a multicultural society and ending genocide in Myanmar will include Harn Yawnghwe, executive director of the Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office, and Maung Zarni, a Buddhist Rohingya lobbyist. "There's been no credible investigation of these crimes".

"Deliberately demolishing villages to destroy evidence of grave crimes is obstruction of justice", said Adams.

The Myanmar government has denied accusations of atrocities committed by the army and prevented a United Nations commission from entering the region to investigate reports of abuses and killings.

Richard Weir, a Myanmar expert with Human Rights Watch, said: "There's no more landmarks, there's no trees, there's no vegetation".

Meanwhile, Rab yesterday detained 11 foreign nationals at Rohingya camps in Ukhia and Teknaf as they failed to show "necessary documents".

The UN agency said the upcoming cyclone season in Bangladesh will affect the "fragile and insanitary" refugee camps, which could lead to the outbreak of waterborne diseases and force clinics, learning centers and other facilities to close.

Myanmar burying the evidence