Rohingya beheaded, burned alive in Myanmar: Witnesses
Government forces in Myanmar have beheaded and burned alive Rohingya Muslim civilians, including children, witnesses say, as calls grow to stop the “genocide” against the minority Muslims living in the Buddhist-majority country.
Myanmar’s Rakhine State, where the minority Rohingya are concentrated, has been the scene of violence by the army. Before a military siege was imposed on Rakhine late last year, extremist Buddhists would attack the Muslims.
The Independent cited eyewitnesses in a report on Saturday as giving “horrific accounts of violence and destruction” by Myanmarese soldiers and other unidentified armed groups.
The report cited a man named Abdul Rahman as saying that he had survived a five-hour attack on Chut Pyin Village.
He said a group of Rohingya men had been arrested and detained in a bamboo hut, which was then set on fire.
“My brother was killed, [Myanmarese soldiers] burned him with the group,” he said. “We found [my other family members] in the fields. They had marks on their bodies from bullets and some had cuts.”
“My two nephews, their heads were off. One was six years old and the other was nine years old. My sister-in-law was shot with a gun,” he said.
Survivors from other villages in the region have been giving similar accounts of violence carried out against the members of the minority group as the government denies access to journalists and relief workers to enter the conflict zone.
“Satellite imagery shows the total destruction of a Muslim village, and prompts serious concerns that the level of devastation in northern Rakhine State may be far worse than originally thought,” said Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
UK urges action
Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has called on Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to end the violence.
A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Suu Kyi has done next to nothing to end the plight of the minority Muslims.
Johnson appealed to Suu Kyi to make stronger efforts to resolve the issue. He warned her that the violence was “besmirching” Myanmar’s reputation.
The UK is a former colonizer of Myanmar.
‘Genocide’ & ‘pogrom’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that a bout of violence that killed many Rohingya Muslims last week was “genocide.”
Almost 400 people died in Myanmar’s Rakhine in a stepped-up military crackdown on the Rohingya last week.
Rohingya Muslims, a community of more than a million people, have been denied citizenship and access to basic rights in Myanmar.
Francis Wade, the author of a book about violence against the Rohingya, has said the atrocities constitute “a pogrom.”
Military urges Rohingya to help hunt militants
Meanwhile, the Myanmarese military has been urging the Rohingya Muslims to help hunt down militants allegedly fighting to defend the minority Muslims.
Local media said the military was using loudspeakers to urge the Rohingyas to cooperate with its forces and provide information on the alleged militants.