Rohingya ethnic cleansing ongoing despite Myanmar denials: Amnesty

Rohingya ethnic cleansing ongoing despite Myanmar denials: Amnesty

Both Zaw Win and Khin Mg spoke with just days before Amnesty International released a report on February 8 about how the Myanmar security forces' devastating campaign against the Rohingya population in northern Rakhine State is far from over.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson arrived here on his maiden Bangladesh visit to take note of the plight of Rohingya refugees ahead of his visit to Myanmar. The rest were shot by soldiers, two of the gravediggers said.

Zaw Win, an ethnic Rakhine from Buthidaung, said Rohingya were being forced to leave Rakhine by a political agenda.

"One grave for 10 people", said Soe Chay, 55, a retired soldier from Inn Din's Rakhine Buddhist community who said he helped dig the pit and saw the killings.

The United States says a Reuters report about the massacre of Muslims a year ago has highlighted the need for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of atrocities in northern Rakhine State.

Myanmar officials have repeatedly said that all preparations have been made and they are ready to accept refugees.

Reuters' account draws on interviews from the victims' families as well as testimony from villagers and security personnel, confirming the military's role in the incident.

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Under an agreement made last November, Myanmar was due to start receiving Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh at two reception centers and a temporary camp near Maungdaw in northern Rakhine starting on January 23 and continuing over the next two years. "We are ready to support the solution", he said.

The human rights group published new evidence of ongoing atrocities forcing hundreds more people to flee since the beginning of the year.

UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, said in a tweet: "During the reporting of this article, two Reuters journalists were arrested by Myanmar police".

A month after the journalists' arrests, Myanmar's army issued a rare statement admitting that security forces took part in extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya "terrorists" in Inn Din village. "They remain held & must absolutely be released".

Myanmar's Catholic cardinal says it's likely that Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh won't ever go home and that "the elements of ethnic cleansing" that drove them out are now apparent.

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations human rights investigator for Myanmar who has been barred from visiting the Rohingya areas, echoed that call and added in a tweet: "Independent & credible investigation needed to get to the bottom of the Inn Din massacre". They are in prison while a court decides if they should be charged under the colonial-era act.

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