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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 16:43 PM | 26-09-2017

Rights group accuses Myanmar of crimes against humanity

Myanmar is committing crimes against humanity in its campaign against Muslim insurgents in Rakhine state, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday (Sept 26, 2017), calling for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions and an arms embargo, Reuters reported.

The UN refugee agency called for a redoubling of international aid for the 480,000 refugees -- 60 percent of them children -- who have fled to Bangladesh since Aug 25 to escape the violence.

A Myanmar government spokesman rejected the accusation of crimes against humanity, saying there was no evidence.

Myanmar has also rejected UN accusations that its forces are engaged in ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in response to coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on the security forces on Aug 25.

Refugees arriving in Bangladesh have accused the army and Buddhist vigilantes of trying to drive Rohingya out of Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

“The Burmese military is brutally expelling the Rohingya from northern Rakhine state,” said James Ross, legal and policy director at New York-based Human Rights Watch.

“The massacres of villagers and mass arson driving people from their homes are all crimes against humanity.”

Myanmar, also known as Burma, says its forces are fighting terrorists responsible for attacking the police and the army, killing civilians and torching villages.

The International Criminal Court defines crimes against humanity as acts including murder, torture, rape and deportation “when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack.”

Human Rights Watch said its research, supported by satellite imagery, had found crimes of deportation, forced population transfers, murder and rape.


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