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BREAKING NEWS

Widespread rape and people burnt alive in Myanmar, says NGO

Rohingya Muslims have been telling their horrifying accounts to Save the Children.

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Widespread rape and people burnt alive in Myanmar, says NGO

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Since the summer the world has been focussing on Trump’s tweets, the Catalan crisis and the sexual assault scandal.

But while eyes have been looking elsewhere, there has widespread rape, children burnt alive and dams being filled with bodies.

They are the new claims from 600,000 people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, who have fled Myanmar’s Rakhine region since August 25.

Arriving in neighbouring Bangladesh, the refugees have been telling their horrifying accounts to Save the Children.

“Almost every child we’ve spoken to has seen and experienced things that no child ever should,” said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the NGO’s chief executive. “They have told us of massacres, multiple rapes and seeing family members burnt alive.

“With more than half of all refugees under the age of 18, this is a children’s emergency. Many of these children are deeply traumatised by what they have been through, and are now living somewhere that is no place for a child.”

What the Rohingya Muslims are saying


Woman, 24: “I saw a soldier pour gasoline over a heavily pregnant woman. Then he set her on fire. Another soldier ripped a baby from his mother’s arms and threw him into the fire. His name was Sahab* and he was not even one year old. I will never forget their screams.”

Father, 41: “We panicked and tried to get out of our house, but everything happened so quickly. I saw my six-year-old daughter’s skirt on fire, so I grabbed her and ran out of the house. My wife and 12-year-old son also made it out of our house, but we lost two of our children in the chaos. I still don’t know what happened to them. I fear that they didn’t make it out of the house
in time and were burned alive. As people tried to run away the military attacked them with machetes. We all ran away as fast as we could.”

Girl, 16: “They hit me in the face with a gun, kicked me in my chest and stamped on my arms
and legs. Then I was raped by three soldiers. They raped me for about two hours and at
some stage I fainted.”

Woman, 40: ““When the military came to our village, two of the soldiers grabbed a teenage girl. Then they gang-raped her in front of the whole village. Her parents had been killed trying to help her. So I washed her and I tried to treat her injuries. She was only 14 years old and she was bleeding heavily. After four days she died.”

Woman, 35: “Two months ago, six soldiers stormed my house and held me there for three days. They all raped me. I was unconscious on and off during the ordeal, so it could have been even more than six soldiers actually. The worst moment was when one of the soldiers bit off one of my nipples. It was so painful that I passed out.”

Girl, 16: “The military came to our village and started setting houses on fire. I was in the kitchen at the time when I suddenly heard shooting and began to smell smoke. I fled into the jungle to hide. From there, I could see the military burning down the entire village and killing people. They killed many. They were shooting and stabbing them. I could see everything and I was very scared that they would find us and kill us too.

What Myanmar is saying


Myanmar’s army released a report on Monday denying all allegations of rape and killings by security forces, days after replacing the general in charge of the operation.

What the international community is saying


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing. It added: “The Burmese military’s absurd effort to absolve itself of mass atrocities underscores why an independent international investigation is needed to establish the facts and identify those responsible,” said Brad Adams. “The Burmese authorities have once again shown that they can’t and won’t credibly investigate themselves.”

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said: “There have been credible allegations of serious human rights violations and abuses committed against the Rohingya, including extrajudicial killings, excessive use of force, torture and ill-treatment, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced displacement, as well as the burning and destruction of over 200 Rohingya villages and tens of thousands of homes.”