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Myanmar military’s investigation as whitewash: Amnesty

15 Nov 2017, 10:34

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Rohingya Muslims wait to cross the border to Bangladesh, in a temporary camp outside Maungdaw MYANMAR-ROHINGYA/ Rohingya Muslims wait to cross the border to Bangladesh, in a temporary camp outside Maungdaw Rohingya Muslims wait to cross the border to Bangladesh, in a temporary camp outside Maungdaw, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar November 12, 2017. Picture taken on November 12, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Human rights group Amnesty International described the Myanmar military’s internal investigation into violence against Rohingyas as a ‘whitewash’ and called for giving UN and other independent observers unfettered access to the country.

‘With more than 600,000 women, men and children having fled Rakhine State in recent months fearing for their lives, there is overwhelming evidence that the military has murdered and raped Rohingyas and burned their villages to the ground,’ James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific said in a statement.

In response to findings released after the investigation into violence in northern Rakhine State since 25 August, the statement said: ‘Once again, Myanmar’s military is trying to sweep serious violations against the Rohingya under the carpet.’

It also said after recording countless stories of horror and using  satellite analysis to track the growing devastation ‘we can only reach one conclusion: these attacks amount to crimes against humanity’.

‘The full extent of the violations against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities will not be known until the UN Fact-Finding Mission and other independent observers are given unfettered access to Myanmar, and in particular Rakhine State,’ it said.

The statement said the Myanmar military has made clear it has no intention of ensuring accountability; it’s now up to the international community to step up to ensure these appalling abuses do not go unpunished.

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