UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Human Rights Commission hinted on Friday that widespread human rights violations against the Rohingya community by Myanmar’s security forces in Rakhine state amount to “crimes against humanity”.
The report, released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday, is based on interviews with people who fled Myanmar after attacks on a border post in October.
It speaks of gang-rapes, killing of babies and young children, brutal beatings and other “serious human rights violations” by the country’s security forces.
“The devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is unbearable — what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for his mother’s milk. And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
“What kind of ‘clearance operation’ is this? What national security goals could possibly be served by this?”
Mr Zeid noted that more than half of the women its human rights teams interviewed said they had suffered rape or other forms of sexual violence. Many other interviewees reported witnessing killings, including of family members and having family who were missing.
Witnesses also described the destruction of food and food sources, including paddy fields, and the confiscation of livestock.
It also noted that several people were killed in indiscriminate and random shooting while fleeing for safety.
Army or Rakhine villagers locked an entire family, including elderly and disabled people, inside a house and set it on fire, killing them all “Numerous testimonies collected from people from different village tracts…confirmed that the army deliberately set fire to houses with families inside, and in other cases pushed Rohingyas into already burning houses,” the report states.