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Rohingya: The most persecuted minority

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Location of Rakhine (Arakan)-State in Myanmar ...

Mar 2013 News:

Rioting and arson attacks spread on Friday to villages outside Meiktila, as mobs of Buddhists, some led by monks, continued a three-day rampage through Muslim areas. Witnesses reached by phone said security forces did little to stop the violence.

“Mobs were destroying buildings and killing people in cold blood,” said U Nyan Lynn, a former political prisoner who witnessed what he described as massacres. “Nobody stopped them — I saw hundreds of riot police there.”

….

One video posted to Facebook by Radio Free Asia on Friday showed Muslim women and men cowering and shielding their heads from flying objects as they fled their attackers. Onlookers are overheard shouting, “Oooh! Look how many of them. Kill them! Kill them!”

On Friday, a group of Buddhist monks threatened news photographers, including one who works for The Associated Press, with a sword and homemade weapons. With a monk holding a blade to his neck, U Khin Maung Win, the A.P. photographer, handed over his camera’s memory card.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/world/asia/toll-rises-as-sectarian-violence-in-myanmar-spreads.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

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UN human rights chief says forces sent to quash violence in Rakhine state reportedly targeted Muslims

“We have been receiving a stream of reports from independent sources alleging discriminatory and arbitrary responses by security forces, and even their instigation of and involvement in clashes,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

“Reports indicate that the initial swift response of the authorities to the communal violence may have turned into a crackdown targeting Muslims, in particular members of the Rohingya community.”

“There is a lot of latent prejudice, racism, whatever you want to call it, inside Burma towards this community and it’s playing out right now. It’s not over by any means. It’s a tinderbox and it could blow up at any time.” – Brad Adams from Human Rights Watch

Burmese Muslims targeted in communal violence, says Amnesty

Communal violence is continuing in western Burma six weeks after the government declared a state of emergency, with much of it directed at minority Muslim Rohingyas who have been beaten, raped and killed, Amnesty International has claimed.

The rights group accused both security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists of carrying out fresh attacks against Rohingyas, who are regarded as foreigners by the ethnic majority and denied citizenship by the government because it considers them illegal settlers from neighbouring Bangladesh.

Violence in the past six weeks has been “primarily one-sided, with Muslims generally and Rohingyas specifically the targets and victims”, Benjamin Zawacki, a Bangkok-based researcher for Amnesty, told the Associated Press. “Some of this is by the security forces’ own hands, some by Rakhine Buddhists, with the security forces turning a blind eye in some cases.”

A report from IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation provides a detailed and objective account of what is going on there. It says

Incidents deemed humiliating to human dignity have been going on in Arakan for long years. Recent clashes have left more than 1,000 Muslims dead and over 90,000 Muslims homeless. Most of the Arakanese fleeing violence are seeking refuge in camps in neighboring Bangladesh. However, faced with unimaginably inhumane conditions at these camps Arakanese Muslims are losing hopes for a better future. Kala, a 75-year-old Arakanese refugee who has been in these camps for long years, describes refugees’ despair: “We are waiting for death that will relieve us of our suffering.” To make the matters more tragic, Bangladesh not only has been denying refugees that have been coming since June entry into the country but also returning those who arrived in the camps in the past years.

Their report can be accessed at http://www.ihh.org.tr/uploads/2012/arakanraporu-en.pdf

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Written by S Ibrahim

Jul 29, 2012 at 12:21 am

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