The Myanmar government should stop obstructing international efforts to investigate widespread crimes committed against Rohingya Muslims, Human Rights Watch said. Donors and concerned governments should press Myanmar to protect their basic rights, facilitate international justice for victims, and ensure that any returns of Rohingya refugees are voluntary, safe, and dignified.
August 25, 2019, marks two years since the Myanmar military began a campaign of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity that drove 740,000 Rohingya to neighboring Bangladesh. A United Nations-backed Fact-Finding Mission found sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior military officials for grave crimes, including genocide, in Rakhine State.
“Two years since the Myanmar military carried out ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population, the government still denies its troops committed any atrocities,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “The bulldozing of Rohingya homes to destroy evidence after the ethnic cleansing is emblematic of the government’s campaign to whitewash its crimes.”
The Myanmar government has not acted to improve conditions or address the causes underlying the human rights crisis facing Rohingya in Rakhine State.
An estimated 500,000 Rohingya remain in appalling conditions in Rakhine State. Security forces have confined them to camps and villages and severely restricted their freedom of movement. The government has denied them fundamental freedoms and deprived them of access to sustainable livelihoods and basic humanitarian services including adequate food, medical care, and education.