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Boris Johnson calls for safe return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

12 February 2018, 12:56 | Darnell Patrick

Boris Johnson calls for safe return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

Boris Johnson calls for safe return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar

On Thursday Reuters published a report describing how Myanmar troops and Buddhist villagers executed 10 Rohingya men in Rakhine's Inn Dinn village on Sept.2, 2017 and dumped their bodies into a mass grave. "The investigation was being conducted even before Reuters news", he said, adding that he was unable to specify what action would be taken against the 16.

A month after the journalists' arrest, Myanmar's army issued a rare statement admitting that security forces took part in extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya "terrorists" in Inn Din village. Buddhist villagers attacked some of them with swords and soldiers shot the others dead, it said.

Reuters news agency has published a report by two arrested reporters on the massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Rakhine villagers reported no attack by a large number of rebels on security forces in Inn Din. Rohingya witnesses said that soldiers plucked the 10 from among hundreds of men, women and children who had sought safety on a nearby beach. Burmese citizens Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were detained on December 12 for allegedly obtaining confidential documents.

Human rights groups and diplomats from around the world have also called for their release, but the two have been denied bail.

The two men face up to 14 years in prison on charges under a colonial-era Official Secrets Act of possessing classified documents.

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If there was "strong and reliable primary evidence" of abuses, the government would investigate, he said.

A Myanmar government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Johnson and Aung San Suu Kyi "discussed in an open and friendly manner the latest developments in Rakhine State, including planning for the reception of returnees who fled", the Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Facebook post.

The United Nations has accused Myanmar of driving the Muslim minority across the border in an ethnic cleansing campaign.

"While I welcome steps by both the Burmese and Bangladeshi governments towards ensuring that these people can return home, it is vital that the Rohingya refugees must be allowed to their homes in Rakhine voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, under global oversight, and when the conditions in Burma are right".

However, Myanmar authorities have denied that they are carrying out ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state, speaking instead of a "clearance operation" that is a legitimate response to insurgent attacks.



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