CAIRO – Human rights activists have accused the Burmese police of forces of killing at least 16 Rohingya Muslims and kidnapping 100 more in a village located in an isolated corner of Burma to cover-up a recent discovery of a mass grave.
“The villagers were shocked because a worker had found the bodies of eight Rohingyas in a dump,” Tun Khin, human rights activist and president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation in the UK, told International Business Times UK on Thursday, January 16.
“They took one corpse in the village and went to the police outpost to discuss the matter with authorities.”
According to news reports, Rakhine authorities entered Du Char Yar Tan village on the night of 14 January and started shooting people directly.
Khin alleges that security forces then raided the village “to hide this crime” – with reference to the killing of the eight Rohingyas.
According to other rights groups, a Rohingya girl was raped in the rampage that followed.
The activist blames authorities for a “systematic pattern of violence” affecting Rohingyas in the Rakhine state.
“This is the policy they are implementing. They want to clear up Myanmar from Rohingyas.
Similar news was confirmed by Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, an advocacy group that has been documenting abuses against members of the Rohinyga Muslim minority for more than a decade.
Lewa confirmed to AP that Burmese mobs attacked Muslims in the village, located in an isolated corner of Burma, hacking Muslim women and children with knives.
Described by the UN as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities, Rohingya Muslims are facing a catalogue of discrimination in their homeland.
They have been denied citizenship rights since an amendment to the citizenship laws in 1982 and are treated as illegal immigrants in their own home.
The Burmese government as well as the Buddhist majority refuse to recognize the term “Rohingya”, referring to them as “Bengalis”.
Rights groups have accused the Burmese security forces of killing, raping and arresting Rohingyas following the sectarian violence last year.