Amnesty International Report points finger at Myanmar military over Rohingya crimes
A senior rights group says it has ‘credible’ evidence of crimes against the Rohingya and names those responsible.
Amnesty International has released a report based on 400+ interviews and a body of forensic, photographic and audio materials which show the coordination of attacks on Rohingya people.
They say that the military crackdown on the Muslim minority which followed the attacks by the Rohingya insurgent group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, were disproportionate and constituted crimes against humanity.
The report highlights that Myanmar soldiers entered Rohingya villages and committed 9 out of 11 crimes listed in the Rome Statute of the ICC, ‘including murder, torture, deportation or forcible transfer, rape and other sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearance, and other inhumane acts, such as forced starvation’.
Through sensitive documents, Amnesty International has also been able to name 13 officials with key roles in orchestrating the attacks and expulsion.
They show that it was the Office of the Commander-in Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing that ordered the deployment of soldiers from the 33rd and 99th Light Infantry Divisions and military vehicles like helicopters, to Northern Rakhine.
The evidence illustrates that strategic decision-making was made from the senior chain of command, and orders filtered down to individual combat units and not between them. This was consistent with Myanmar military doctrine. In other words, attacks were not carried out by maverick soldiers and were instead carefully coordinated to intimidate, maim and kill Rohingya, even on their escape to Bangladesh.
It defies credibility to suggest that, across northern Rakhine State, different commanders and different units were simultaneously deciding to sweep through villages in the same way, to open fire on people as they fled, and to burn every last structure, without orders to do so or at the very least without senior commanders knowing about these systematic crimes.’ the report reads.
Along with documenting the process, the rights group presents recommendations on how to treat the mounting evidence and the future responses from the international community.
Automatically, the International Criminal Court should be given the responsibility of investigating the many crimes committed as well as regional blocs like the EU and ASEAN imposing targeted sanctions on senior officials involved in the crimes and violations.
For the Rohingya currently in Bangladesh, Amnesty International encourages increasing support from the international community to those currently living across the Cox’s Bazar region as well as to improving the process for eventual repatriation and development inside Rakhine State.
Matthew Wells, Senior Crisis Adviser for Amnesty International said,
Those with blood on their hands – right up the chain of command to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing – must be held to account for their role in overseeing or carrying out crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations under international law.
Myanmar: Military top brass must face justice for crimes against humanity targeting Rohingya; Amnesty International; https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/myanmar-military-top-brass-must-face-justice-for-crimes-against-humanity-targeting-rohingya/)
“We Will Destory Everything” Military Responsibility For Crimes Against Humanity in Rakhine State, Myanmar”; Amnesty International; https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA1686302018ENGLISH.PDF)