Home » fresh car reviews 2017 » Rohingya Muslims tell of gang rapes and secret killings in Myanmar – s hidden region – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Rohingya Muslims tell of gang rapes and secret killings in Myanmar – s hidden region – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Rohingya Muslims tell of gang rapes and secret killings in Myanmar’s hidden region

Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims share stories of gang rape and killings by police and soldiers

As the last of the foreign reporters walked over a bamboo bridge a youthfull Rohingya woman dressed in black, with a black umbrella, raised her arm hesitantly.

Her demeanour was somewhere inbetween blank and horrified.

But she desired to tell us something.

Photo Speaking out about the violence is risky for the people of Rakhine State.

“The Rakhinese entered and aimed the gun at my forehead. They held my forearms strongly and did what they wished to me,” she said.

“Then I was told to go back. But I didn’t. I was sitting there. Then they began hammering me and they took off my clothes.

“They hit me too much and did what they dreamed. The military did this.”

She is eighteen years old.

The Myanmar Government organised a journey for foreign journalists to go to northern Rakhine State, in Myanmar’s west.

Photo A reporter talks to villagers in the Rakhine region of Myanmar on a government tour of the region, July 2017.

Who are the Rohingya?

The region has been off thresholds ever since militants attacked several police posts in October, killing nine officers and stealing dozens of weapons.

That sparked reprisals from security compels against Rohingya Muslims that the United Nations called “possible ethnic cleansing”.

Some of the 70,000 who fled to neighbouring Bangladesh told stories of atrocities at the palms of the army.

The township of Maundaw was allegedly the scene of some of the worst violence last year, at the arms of soldiers and police.

Photo People working in the Rakhine region of Myanmar where villagers have alleged human rights manhandles.

Where possible, reporters insisted our heavily-armed police escort stayed behind while we conducted interviews.

Each time, fresh allegations emerged.

“They came to this village and burned my father [alive] inwards a house and jailed my mother [when she filed a complaint],” said a woman, who the ABC has chosen not to name, in case of retribution.

Speaking out is risky.

Two previous Government-run trips for local journalists have toured northern Rakhine State.

After each journey, someone who talked to the press was killed by unknown assailants.

Photo Soldiers oversee a crowd in Myanmar.

Myanmar is a majority Buddhist country with more than one hundred thirty recognised ethnic groups.

But the one million Muslim Rohingyas are not among them.

Most in Myanmar consider Rohingyas to be illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, calling them “Bengalis” or worse, “kalas”.

Many have lived in Myanmar for generations, but they exist under a kind of apartheid — barred to leave their village without permission, get a formal job or attend university.

Against this backdrop, a fresh insurgency formed calling itself Harakah al-Yaqin … or Faith Movement.

It is thought to be led and funded from Saudi Arabia.

Photo The army (front) and the Border Guard Police (rear), deny human rights manhandles.

‘Genocide’ in Myanmar

The army and the Border Guard Police deny almost all the allegations of human rights manhandles.

Police Brigadier General Thura San Lwin said Rohingyas were killing each other and had burned down their own homes.

The Chief Minister of Rakhine State, U Nyi Bu, rejects the allegation from Malaysian’s Prime Minister that Myanmar is conducting genocide.

“This isn’t genocide, what we did just caused minor injuries,” he said. “If people think it’s a big deal, they’re wrong.”

The conflict inbetween Buddhists and Rohingyas dates back decades, with sporadic flaring of communal violence.

In 2012, clashes caused thousands of Rohingyas to flee the state capital Sittwe and shelter in what they thought would be improvised camps.

Photo Malnutrition is common and medical services are scarce for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.

Five years on, they still depend on food aid but malnutrition emerges common, compounded by a lack of medical services.

There are no effortless answers, with both sides entrenched in mistrust and prejudice.

After historic elections in 2015, Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is the de facto leader of the country, but she has no control over the security compels, which proceed to act as a law unto themselves.

Photo A youthfull soldier holds a rifle in Rakhine region of Myanmar, July 2017.

She has been criticised for not speaking for the rights of the Rohinghya, but doing so risks alienating her main constituency, the myriad of ethnic groups who are united in little else but their dislike of the “Bengalis”.

Aung San Suu Kyi has attempted to carve out space for dialogue, requesting that emotive terms like Bangali and Rohingyas be avoided, and “Muslim” be used instead.

A special commission headed by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has made interim recommendations, including a call for unimpeded access for aid workers and media.

Photo The UN is supplying aid to the region, amid concerns of genocide.

A UN resolution to launch a fact finding mission to Rakhine State has been blocked by the Myanmar Government, telling it would be provocative.

With no end in glance, the secret killings and blanket denials proceed, bringing with it the risk of a much more potent insurgency.

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