Following today’s admission by Myanmar’s military that security forces and villagers summarily killed 10 captured Rohingya people and buried them in a mass grave outside Inn Din, a village in Maungdaw, Rakhine State, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:
“This grisly admission is a sharp departure from the army’s policy of blanket denial of any wrongdoing. However, it is only the tip of the iceberg and warrants serious independent investigation into what other atrocities were committed amid the ethnic cleansing campaign that has forced out more than 655,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State since last August.
“It is appalling that soldiers have attempted to justify extrajudicial executions by saying they were needed as reinforcements elsewhere and did not know what to do with the men. Such behavior shows a contempt for human life which is simply beyond comprehension.
“Amnesty International and others have documented overwhelming evidence that far beyond Inn Din, in villages and hamlets across northern Rakhine State, the military has murdered and raped Rohingya, and burned their villages to the ground. These acts amount to crimes against humanity and those responsible must be brought to justice.
“The full extent of the violations and crimes against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities will not be known until the UN Fact-Finding Mission and other independent observers are given unfettered access to Myanmar, and in particular Rakhine State.”
Myanmar’s armed forces have previously attempted to whitewash their role in crimes against humanity against the Rohingya in northern Rakhine State.
Amnesty International research has shown how, since late August 2017, Myanmar’s security forces have unleashed a targeted campaign of violence against the Rohingya population, including through the widespread killing of women, men and children; rape and other forms of sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls; laying landmines; and burning entire Rohingya villages. This comes in the context of a longstanding state-sponsored apartheid regime against the Rohingya. Satellite images Amnesty International analysed from Inn Din clearly show how an area of Rohingya homes have been burned to the ground, while non-Rohingya areas alongside them appear to have been left untouched. Amnesty International’s October 2017 report My World Is Finished includes the testimonies of seven Rohingya villagers from Inn Din. They described how the military and vigilantes raided the village over several days in late August, looting and burning homes and shooting people as they fled, as well as apparently targeting Rohingya men. The organization has not been able to determine the scale of the killings in Inn Din.