Government forces in Myanmar have beheaded and burned alive Rohingya Muslim civilians, including children, witnesses say, as calls grow to stop the “genocide” against the minority Muslims living in the Buddhist-majority country.
Myanmar’s Rakhine State, where the minority Rohingya are concentrated, has been the scene of violence by the army. Before a military siege was imposed on Rakhine late last year, extremist Buddhists would attack the Muslims.
The Independent cited eyewitnesses in a report on Saturday as giving “horrific accounts of violence and destruction” by Myanmarese soldiers and other unidentified armed groups.
The report cited a man named Abdul Rahman as saying that he had survived a five-hour attack on Chut Pyin Village.
He said a group of Rohingya men had been arrested and detained in a bamboo hut, which was then set on fire.
“My brother was killed, [Myanmarese soldiers] burned him with the group,” he said. “We found [my other family members] in the fields. They had marks on their bodies from bullets and some had cuts.”
“My two nephews, their heads were off. One was six years old and the other was nine years old. My sister-in-law was shot with a gun,” he said.
Survivors from other villages in the region have been giving similar accounts of violence carried out against the members of the minority group as the government denies access to journalists and relief workers to enter the conflict zone.
“Satellite imagery shows the total destruction of a Muslim village, and prompts serious concerns that the level of devastation in northern Rakhine State may be far worse than originally thought,” said Phil Robertson, the deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
UK urges action
Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has called on Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to end the violence.
A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Suu Kyi has done next to nothing to end the plight of the minority Muslims.