Myanmar erasing evidence of Rohingya crimes


A harsh security response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on August 25 sent members of the mostly stateless minority fleeing to Bangladesh and saw more than 350 villages destroyed by fire in western Myanmar's Rakhine state.

In the report titled "Remaking Rakhine State", Amnesty has revealations by witness testimony, expert analysis and satellite images the progress of the military's construction, which intensified in January.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims, a minority ethnic group on Buddhist majority Myanmar, fled the clampdown launched in August in response to attacks by suspected Muslim insurgents on a number of security posts in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state.

Myanmar's security forces have, as per independent reports and investigations, tortured, killed and raped scores of Rohingya people and burned down whole villages in the name of fighting alleged Rohingya insurgents. Amnesty has accused Burma of crimes against humanity. Even surrounding trees and other vegetation have been removed, rendering much of the landscape unrecognisable.

"It's not true that we are deploying the military among houses and among villages", he said, adding that bulldozing is necessary to work on burned land.

Entire villages were burned to the ground past year as Burmese forces swept through Rakhine, killing and raping in a campaign the United Nations human rights chief called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

Photos revealed of Irish scammers believed to still be in the country
It comes after 12 complaints concerning a group of males and a group of females with Irish accents were made to police. An Australian Border Force (ABF) spokesman confirmed "a number of the group have now departed Australia voluntarily".

"Burma's authorities are erasing evidence of crimes against humanity, making any future attempts to hold those responsible to account extremely hard". Authorities have launched an operation to rapidly expand security infrastructure across Rakhine State, including bases to house the military and Border Guard Police, as well as helipads.

The report follows previous accounts by Amnesty and other rights groups who have documented the demolition of Rohingya villages at the epicenter of recent violence, prompting concerns that evidence of human rights abuses are being concealed before they can be properly documented.

It claims the largest is in the village of Ah Lel Chaung in Buthidaung Township, where eyewitnesses said the military forcibly evicted Rohingya from certain areas to make way for construction.

As well as rapid housing and road construction in the area, at least three new security facilities were under construction, the global human rights group said.

"This makes the voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya refugees an even more distant prospect", said Hassan.

A man walks past the entrance of a camp set up by Myanmar's Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister to prepare for the repatriation of displaced Rohingyas, who fled to Bangladesh, outside Maungdaw in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar January 24, 2018.