Sexual attacks against Rohingya may be war crimes, says UN envoy

Pramila Patten, who met many Rohingya victims of sexual violence in Bangladesh camps during a visit this month, said she fully endorses the assessment by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein that Rohingya have been victims of "ethnic cleansing."

By: AP | United Nations | Published: November 23, 2017 8:04 am
rohingya refugee, rohingya boat capsize, bangladesh, naf river, rohingya muslims, rohingya refugees drown, indian express A woman collapses from exhaustion as Rohingya refugees arrive by a wooden boat from Myanmar to the shore of Shah Porir Dwip, near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. (Reuters/File Photo)

Widespread atrocities against Rohingya Muslim women and girls have been orchestrated and perpetrated by Myanmar’s military and may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the UN envoy on sexual violence in conflict said today.

Pramila Patten, who met many Rohingya victims of sexual violence in Bangladesh camps during a visit this month, said she fully endorses the assessment by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein that Rohingya have been victims of “ethnic cleansing.”

Patten said at a news conference that the widespread use of sexual violence “was clearly a driver and push factor” for more than 620,000 Rohingya to flee Myanmar. It was “also a calculated tool of terror aimed at the extermination and removal of the Rohingya as a group,” she added.

Myanmar’s government has denied committing any atrocities as has its military. The government refused a request from Patten to visit northern Rakhine state where many Rohingya lived.

Buddhist-majority Myanmar doesn’t recognise the Rohingya as an ethnic group, insisting they are Bengali migrants from Bangladesh living illegally in the country. It has denied them citizenship, leaving them stateless.

The recent spasm of violence began when Rohingya insurgents launched a series of attacks on August 25. Myanmar security forces then began a scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya villages that the UN and human rights groups have called a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Patten said that during her visit to camps for the displaced, she heard “the most heartbreaking, most shocking, and horrific accounts of abuses committed cold bloodedly with unparallelled hatred against the Rohingya community.”

Patten, a former member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, said sexual violence including gang rape by soldiers, forced public nudity and sexual slavery and it was clearly being used “as a tool of dehumanisation and as a form of punishment.”

She said a number of eyewitnesses “reported rapes of the most extreme and brutal nature, which included the tying of women and girls to a rock or tree before being gang raped by multiple soldiers, and many were literally gang-raped to death.” Some girls who were raped in their houses were left to die when their houses were torched, she added.

Witnesses also said that even before August 25, Myanmar troops would throw Rohingya babies into fires or into village wells to contaminate the water and deprive residents of drinking water, Patten said.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

  1. G
    George THAKUR
    Nov 24, 2017 at 2:23 am
    Typical UN sensationalism! Not even cure than prevention. The lives of these abused women have been destroyed for ever. Such brutalities, not only in Mayanmar, could have certainly been avoided just by research and proper planning. Future world will hold someone accountable!
    (0)(0)
    Reply
    1. Undeniable Reality
      Nov 23, 2017 at 9:57 am
      ISLAM Do NOT Teaches TO WORSHIP THE BODIES, IT IS INDIA , THE PRACTICE OF FOLLOWING THE PAST PEOPLE AND REMEMBERING THEM VIA STATUE GRAVES.. HOLD ON NEVER COMPARE ANYTHING .. UNTIL YOU PEOPLE Do Not INVESTIGATE THE PURE ISLAM.
      (1)(2)
      Reply
      1. R
        Rai
        Nov 23, 2017 at 9:48 am
        See s before comments first make proper home work , news is diffrent your bjp, rss agenda diffrent , want to comment , comment on topic , fue of you s believe sum fake stories tells your self Hindus don't know what really Hinduism mean, secondly s don't know fore fathers name , now you telling history's, what u speaking not sounds good , fast undustand own religion then comment on others , don't speak about univer, See as after modi govt how media sleeping and supporting on money power, same way all bull news, yes many problems on this people's May God bless all away from difficulty
        (0)(0)
        Reply
        1. A
          Arun
          Nov 23, 2017 at 9:28 am
          WHO ARE INDIAN MUSLIMS??------------------ FORCED CONVERSIONS of defenseless Hindus in Hindustan started after 14th centuary when MUGAL TERRORISTS managed to establish themselves well, before 14th century there were some instances of forced conversions, but after 14th century these forced conversions started to grow at a very rapid rate..................mughal terrorists targeted those hindus who were defenseless, and to convert them they used extreme torture, beating, killing, rape, and in some cases money also.............SAUDI MUSLIMS treat Indian muslims as SECOND GRADE MUSLIMS,, they say that """Those Indian muslims grow beard, read namaz, wear skull cap and try to look like us, but in reality they are CONVERTED COWARDS......they are those defenseless Hindus whom our ancestors brutalized and then forcibly converted""" They consider ONLY themselevs ORIGINAL AND SUPERIOR MUSLIMS who are direct descendents of mohhamad, and treat Indian muslims as second grade converts...
          (7)(1)
          Reply
          1. R
            Rationalist
            Nov 23, 2017 at 8:49 am
            STOP WORSHIPING/INVOKING THE DEAD BODIES.....
            (2)(3)
            Reply
            1. Load More Comments