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"We are at breaking point"- Rohingya: Persecuted in Myanmar, neglected in Bangladesh

19
dec
2016

In the pre-dawn hours of 9 October 2016, several hundred men attacked three border police posts in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. Nine police officers were killed and weapons and ammunition were seized. In the past two months, the government has repeatedly insisted that their security operations are aimed at apprehending “violent attackers” and are being conducted “in accordance with the law”. However, the evidence presented in this report suggests that security forces in their response to the 9 October attacks, have perpetrated widespread and systematic human rights violations against the group including by deliberately targeting the civilian populations with little, or no, regard for their connection to militants.

While some unknown number of Rohingya participated in the 9 October attacks and subsequent clashes with security forces, the overwhelming majority did not. Amnesty International has found that security forces have been guilty of deliberately killing civilians, firing at random in villages, arbitrarily arresting Rohingya men, raping Rohingya women and girls, and destroying homes and property. The authorities also suspended humanitarian access to the area imperilling the lives of a population that was heavily reliant on such assistance prior to the attacks.

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority residing primarily in Rakhine State, western Myanmar. Northern Rakhine State, the name commonly used to refer to Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships is home to the vast majority of Myanmar’s estimated one million Rohingyas. The Rohingya have been subjected to decades of state-sponsored discrimination and persecution, which have been extensively documented by Amnesty International and other human rights groups. The Rohingya have been stripped of citizenship rights, in particular as a result of the country’s discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law and its application, and more broadly their civil, political, economic and social rights have been violated.