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Myanmar atrocities report prompts call for journalists' release

10 February, 2018, 04:36 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Reuters released a report Thursday on ethnic killings in Myanmar, detailing research done by two of its reporters now jailed in the Southeast Asian country.

The special report, published overnight, lays out events leading up to the killing of 10 Rohingya men from Inn Din village in Rakhine state who were buried in a mass grave after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbours and soldiers.

Their bylines are on the report, which disputes key details of the Myanmar military's own account of the killings.

That possibility has prompted the government of Myanmar to take precautionary steps to be more on guard against the militant threat. "And then if we found the evidence is true and the violations are there, we will take the necessary action according to the law", he said.

More than 600,000 men, women and children are estimated to have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh following persecution from the Burmese military in their native state of Rakhine, which began in August.

The government and the Tatmadaw have repeatedly blamed Rohingya insurgents for burning villages and homes. The rest were shot by Myanmar troops, two of the gravediggers said.

"The global community needs to stop stalling and do what's necessary to hold accountable those who are responsible before evidence is tainted or lost, memories fade, and more people suffer", said the group's chief executive Matthew Smith.




Witnesses authenticated the photographs, according to Reuters. The police's official account says the men attacked them, but the Reuters's reporting contradicts that claim.

"Buddhist villagers interviewed for this article reported no attack by a large number of insurgents on security forces in Inn Din", Reuters said, adding that other interviews had revealed the massacre victims included fishermen, shopkeepers, an imam and two teenaged high school students.

"If they have a place to live, if they have food to eat, they can carry out more attacks", an anonymous police officer told Reuters. "That's why we burned their houses, mainly for security reasons".

In December 2017, the USA imposed sanctions on Myanmar's Major General Maung Maung Soe, head of the Myanmar Army's Western Command, who led the military's brutal crackdown on the Rohingya.

In additionto ongoing massacres, rapes and the wholesale destruction of villages by the Myanmar military in western Rakhine state that has forced almost 750,000 people to flee to Bangladesh, the food supply now appears to be another weapon that's being used against the dwindling numbers of Rohingya. "And this is what we do", Stephen J. Adler, editor in chief of Reuters, told The Post.

It is the first time Reuters has publicly confirmed what Myanmar nationals Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were working on when they were arrested on December 12 on the outskirts of Yangon. "Once we understood their legal situation, we, in consultation with Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and their relatives, decided (to publish)", he said.

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