GENEVA (AP) — Amnesty International says it has turned up evidence of an “orchestrated campaign of systematic burnings” by Myanmar security forces targeting dozens of Rohingya villages over the last three weeks.
The human rights group is releasing a new analysis of video, satellite photos, witness accounts and other data that found over 80 sites were torched in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State since an Aug. 25 militant attack on a border post. The U.N. children’s agency estimates that as many as 400,000 people have fled to Bangladesh since then.
Top U.N. officials, including Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have previously expressed concerns about possible “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated against the Rohingya. But Amnesty’s findings released Friday in Myanmar offer some of the most precise evidence that Rohingya areas were specifically targeted.
The satellite images, contracted by Amnesty from satellite providers Deimos and Planet Labs, and other source materials point to “80 large-scale fires in inhabited areas, each measuring at least 375 meters (1,230 feet) in length” since Aug. 25, the group said.
The data adds to many accounts of villages being burned from refugees who spoke to U.N. agencies, rights groups and journalists in Bangladesh.
“The evidence is irrefutable — the Myanmar security forces are setting northern Rakhine State ablaze in a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s crisis response director, in a statement.
“There is a clear and systematic pattern of…
click here to read more.