Killing of Rohingya Muslims: Even a baby wasn't spared!


The Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) is deeply concerned over the renewed violence affecting the Rohingya Muslim community in Rakhine state in Myanmar, which has caused the death of hundreds of innocent lives, and thousands to flee to the border to neighbouring Bangladesh, whose border guards are turning them back in breach of worldwide humanitarian principles.

Pope Francis' appeal came after fighting between the Rohingya and the regular Burmese army on Friday in the city of Maungdaw, which is reported to be the worst since October of a year ago, and has prompted evacuations from the area of government personnel and of non-Muslims.

"Two of them have burn injuries while six have gunshot wounds".

Those who have got through took refuge in the mostly makeshift camps in the coastal town of Cox's Bazar, where some 400,000 Rohingya are already living after fleeing previous bouts of violence in Rakhine. "In addition, the deportation of Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar would also be a violation of Article 7 of the ICCPR in as much as it prohibits states to extradite, deport, expel or otherwise remove a person from their territory, where there are substantial grounds for believing that there is a real risk of irreparable harm".

Lt. Col. Manzurul Hasan Khan of Border Guards Bangladesh said they cordoned off about 1,000 Rohingya after they attempted to enter Bangladesh.

Incidents of Myanmar forces opening fire on Rohingyas gathered near the border have been reported in the last two days.

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A wave of Rohingya Muslim families fleeing violence in Myanmar seeking to cross the border into Bangladesh on Monday were turned back.

There are also eyewitness accounts from Maungdaw, saying that the Myanmar military have entered villages and are burning homes and properties and shooting people dead.

But in October a small and previously unknown militant group-the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) - staged a series of well coordinated and deadly attacks on security forces.

According to the United Nations, more than 80,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since last October's clashes.

Bangladesh government sources say the unofficial policy is one of "closed doors, but open windows" - as there are many points along the more than 100km border which are easy to cross as they are not guarded.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has asked the home affairs ministry to withdraw its advisory on deportation of Rohingya Muslims. The Bangladesh government is furious that Myanmar authorities are officially referring to Arsa and other Rohingyas involved in the fighting as "extremist Bengali terrorists".

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In 2016, Myanmar's state counsellor and celebrated political leader Aung San Suu Kyi appointed former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to head an advisory commission on the issue.

In his latest comments on Sunday, he bemoaned the latest "sad reports of the persecution of a religious minority, our Rohingya brothers".

"A lot of people are on the run and they need serious protection and the authorities have not made it easy to help them".

The UNHCR has seen at least 3,000 new arrivals to their official camps in the last 72 hours, UNHCR Bangladesh's Joseph Surjamoni said.

The group said many people including women and children took shelter in the jungle, others risked crossing the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, whereas most were stranded on the Myanmar-side of the Naf River as Bangladesh tightened its border security and continued to push back the fleeing Rohingya.

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