We Will Destroy Everything: Military Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Rakhine State, Myanmar

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

“We got an order to burn down the entire village if there is any disturbance. If you villagers aren’t living peacefully, we will destroy everything.” Audio recording of a Myanmar military officer, during a phone conversation with a Rohingya man from Inn Din village, Maungdaw Township, in late August 2017. Within days, the Rohingya areas of Inn Din had been razed by the security forces.

Early in the morning of 25 August 2017, a Rohingya armed group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) launched coordinated attacks on security force posts in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, the Myanmar security forces, led by the Myanmar Army, attacked the entire Rohingya population in villages across northern Rakhine State

In the 10 months after 25 August, the Myanmar security forces drove more than 702,000 women, men, and children—more than 80 per cent of the Rohingya who lived in northern Rakhine State at the crisis’s outset— into neighbouring Bangladesh. The ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population was achieved by a relentless and systematic campaign in which the Myanmar security forces unlawfully killed thousands of Rohingya, including young children; raped and committed other sexual violence against hundreds of Rohingya women and girls; tortured Rohingya men and boys in detention sites; pushed Rohingya communities toward starvation by burning markets and blocking access to farmland; and burned hundreds of Rohingya villages in a targeted and deliberate manner.

These crimes amount to crimes against humanity under international law, as they were perpetrated as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Rohingya population. Amnesty International has evidence of nine of the 11 crimes against humanity listed in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court being committed since 25 August 2017, including murder, torture, deportation or forcible transfer, rape and other sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearance, and other inhumane acts, such as forced starvation. Amnesty International also has evidence that responsibility for these crimes extends to the highest levels of the military, including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services.

Download full report Here.

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