RIMANEWS - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the Myanmar government for the killing of minority Rohingya Muslims during a recent wave of sectarian violence in the country.
“Burmese (Myanmarese) security forces committed killings, rape, and mass arrests against Rohingya Muslims after failing to protect both them and Arakan Buddhists during deadly sectarian violence in western Burma in June 2012,” the rights organization said in a report on Wednesday.
The HRW report also said the government has restricted the access of humanitarian organizations to the Rohingya community and that the measures “have left many of the over 100,000 people displaced and in dire need of food, shelter, and medical care.”
The report added that the violent acts against Rohingya Muslims “demonstrate that state-sponsored persecution and discrimination persist” despite the government’s pledge to end ethnic discrimination.
Government troops “opened fire on Rohingya with live ammunition,” the 56-page report said.
“When the people tried to put out the fires – set by Buddhist mobs, the paramilitary shot at us. And the group beat people with big sticks,” a witness told HRW in the report.
“Burmese security forces failed to protect the Arakan and Rohingya from each other and then unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya,” said Brad Adams, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
The rights group also slammed the inaction of the international community over the atrocities of the Myanmar government against the Muslims in the country.
“But the international community appears to be blinded by a romantic narrative of sweeping change in Burma (Myanmar), signing new trade deals and lifting sanctions even while the abuses continue,” said HRW Asia Deputy Director Phil Robertson.
HRW also called on Myanmar to “take urgent measures to end abuses by their forces, ensure humanitarian access, and permit independent international monitors to visit affected areas and investigate abuses.”
Reports say some 650 Rohingyas have been killed and thousands more displaced in recent months.
The UN says decades of discrimination have left the Rohingyas stateless, with Myanmar implementing restrictions on their movement and withholding land rights, education and public services.
The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize Rohingyas, claiming they are not native to the country. This is while the Rohingyas migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century. [presstv]