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MYANMAR: Jailed Journalists Were Investigating Massacre

10 February 2018, 01:52 | Darnell Patrick

MYANMAR: Jailed Journalists Were Investigating Massacre

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left goes through a security line upon entering a federal courthouse on Wednesday Feb. 7 2018 in San Francisco. Kalanick took the witness stand ‚ÄãWednesday for a second day ‚Äãoffering his initial response

According to Reuters' special report, published Thursday, Myanmar soldiers detained and executed 10 Rohingya men and teenage boys with the help of local Buddhist villagers in Rakhine state's Inn Din village on September 2.

Lawmakers are demanding Myanmar's exclusion from US -led military exercises in neighboring Thailand next week amid pressure for more American sanctions in response to atrocities against Rohingya Muslims. Soon afterwards, all 10 lay dead.

Two months after Pope Francis visited Myanmar and Bangladesh, Cardinal Charles Bo said Friday that even though the Myanmar government was making plans to receive Rohingya back, many would opt to go elsewhere. The rest were shot by soldiers, two of the gravediggers said.

On Sept. 2, Buddhist villagers and Myanmar troops killed the 10 men in Myanmar's restive Rakhine state. They were all part of the same Rohingya community in Inn Din. The account marks the first time soldiers and paramilitary police have been implicated in violence against the Rohingya by testimony from security personnel themselves, Reuters said.

Myanmar officials have repeatedly said that all preparations have been made and they are ready to accept refugees.

Myanmar's campaign against the Muslim Rohingya population in Rakhine state is far from over, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

That possibility has prompted the government of Myanmar to take precautionary steps to be more on guard against ISIS, he said.

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Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims continue to flee Myanmar's restive Rakhine State for neighboring Bangladesh despite a repatriation deal between the countries.

Since August 2017, an estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar, also known as Burma, following the intense military crackdown by the Buddhist-run government against the Muslim minority.

Under an agreement made last November, Myanmar was due to start receiving Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh at two reception centers and a temporary camp near Maungdaw in northern Rakhine starting on January 23 and continuing over the next two years.

Similarities exist between the Reuters report and the account from the military.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo face up to 14 years in prison for working on report on massacre by Myanmar security forces.

The reporters are charged with violating an arcane and rarely invoked law known as the Official Secrets Act, which dates from colonial British rule.

"As more evidence comes out about the pre-planning and intent of the Myanmar armed forces to wipe out Rohingya villages and their inhabitants, the global community ... needs to focus on how to hold the country's military leaders accountable", said HRW's deputy Asia director Phil Robertson.



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