Nearly 300 Rohingya villages burnt since August: Human Rights Watch

Nearly 300 Rohingya villages have been burnt since the current phase of violence began in Myanmar this year, said the rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The rights group used satellite images to identify 288 partially or completely burned villages in Rakhine state, where tens of thousands of structures were destroyed, reports Efe news.

“These latest satellite images show why over half a million Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in just four weeks,” Deputy Asia Director of HRW Phil Robertson said.

“The Burmese military destroyed hundreds of Rohingya villages while committing killings, rapes, and other crimes against humanity that forced Rohingya to flee for their lives.”

The Rights watcher said that Rohingyas houses were burned while Buddhist houses in Rakhine have been left intact.

The report also said that at least 66 villages were burned after September 5, when the government’s operation started after the Rohingya rebel attack on August 25, was declared to be over.

According to the UN, more than 530,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee to Bangladesh since the offensive began.

More than one million Rohingyas lived in Rakhine prior to the latest round of offensive and had been facing growing persecution since the outbreak of sectarian violence in 2012, which left at least 160 dead.

Myanmar denies citizenship to the Rohingyas, considering them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and imposes multiple restrictions on them, including restrictions on their movement.


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