Reuters journalists face jail in Burma for reporting on violence against Rohingya

Peter Castro
December 16, 2017

For children under five, almost 60 percent died after being shot, the survey found. Myanmar's army has denied any abuses and says only 400 people - including 376 Rohingya "terrorists" - died in the first few weeks of the crackdown. "What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured", Sidney Wong, the group's medical director, said.

MSF said the agreement was "premature" pointing out that "currently people are still fleeing" and reports of violence have come even in recent weeks.

"At least 6,700 Rohingya, in the most conservative estimations, are estimated to have been killed, including at least 730 children below the age of five", MSF said Thursday.

Around 630,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh to escape what the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing".

At least 6700 Rohingya were killed in the month after violence broke out in Myanmar in August, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says.

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Myanmar government officials have strongly denied the allegations and blamed ARSA rebels for the violence. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh say their exodus from the mainly Buddhist nation was triggered by a military offensive in response to Rohingya militant attacks on security forces at the end of August.

"I think it's important that the global community does everything possible" to win the release of the journalists and also to end the dramatic human rights violations that have caused many to flee their country, he said Thursday.

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to cooperate on the repatriation of the displaced Rohingya but rights groups have cautioned against any hasty return before peace and stability is restored. "We heard reports of entire families who perished after they were locked inside their homes, while they were set alight".

"It is OK if military or police security officials who have been taking care of the problems in Rakhine State stated such numbers, or if the relevant administrative officials or relevant state government gave them".

The group also warned there was still very limited access for aid groups into Rakhine state.

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