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Showing posts with label RFA English. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RFA English. Show all posts

Friday, July 10, 2020

Rohingya-based Party Urges Myanmar to Allow The Muslim Minority to Vote And Run For Office

Radio Free Asia
A Rohingya Muslim woman displays her "white card" in western Myanmar's Rakhine state in an undated photo. RFA

A political party representing Myanmar’s persecuted ethnic Rohingya is pressing election authorities to allow members of the Muslim minority who hold temporary “white card” IDs to vote and to run in November nationwide elections.

Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya — more than 740,000 of whom were driven out of their communities in northern Rakhine state in a military-led crackdown and to refuge in Bangladesh in 2017 — has brought Western sanctions and war crimes charges against the country’s military in international courts.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Myanmar Army Says it Has Convicted Three Troops For 2017 Massacre of Rohingya

Rohingya Muslim refugee Mohammad Younus from the Myanmar village of Gu Dar Pyin in Rakhine state, stands on a hill at the Kutupalong refugee camp in southeastern Bangladesh, Jan. 14, 2018.
Associated Press

Myanmar’s military said Tuesday that it tried and convicted three soldiers in a secret court-martial for the massacre of hundreds of Rohingya villagers during an army-led crackdown in Rakhine state in 2017, only the second case in which troops have been held accountable for atrocities against the Muslim minority.

The verdict on the massacre near Gu Dar Pyin village came as the Myanmar military faces genocide-related charges at three international courts over its expulsion of more than 740,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh in late 2017, in which thousands died in indiscriminate killings, mass rape, torture, and village burnings.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Myanmar Court Jails 15 Rohingya For Two Years For Trying to Flee Country

Radio Free Asia
Myanmar police officers escort the convicted Rohingya to a police van following their sentencing at a courthouse in Minhla township, central Myanmar's Magway region, March 6, 2020.
RFA video screenshot

A court in central Myanmar’s Magway region on Friday sentenced 15 Rohingya Muslims to a maximum of two years in prison each for attempting to leave the country illegally, an immigration official said.

Authorities in Minhla township arrested the 15 adults and one child for traveling without official proof of identity or travel documents on Feb. 14.

Eight men and seven women were sentenced at the township courthouse under Section 6(3) of Myanmar’s Immigration Act and immediately transferred to Thayet Prison, while the six-year-old was sent to the Magway Child Care Center run by the region’s social welfare department.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Myanmar Army Says it Will Try Soldiers Over Killings of Rohingya Civilians

Members of the Myanmar military honor guard take part in a ceremony marking the 73rd National Union Day in Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon, Feb. 12, 2020.

The Myanmar military announced Friday that it would investigate and open court-martial proceedings against soldiers accused of killing Rohingya Muslim civilians during a violent army-led crackdown in the country’s Rakhine state in 2017, the third such case in a country facing international criticism for failing to hold troops accountable for widespread atrocities.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Myanmar Navy Detains 50 Rohingya Who Were Trying to Leave Country

Radio Free Asia
Naval authorities bring in Rohingya boat people discovered in a vessel in waters off a beach near Pauk Hla Gyaing village, Panthein township, in southern Myanmar's Ayeyarwady region, Feb. 12, 2020. RFA video screensho 

The Myanmar Navy has detained roughly 50 Rohingya refugees at sea in southern Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region, while local authorities have apprehended five suspected human traffickers who allegedly helped them try to leave the country for an unknown destination, a local official said Thursday.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Bangladesh: Rohingya Remain ‘Hopeless’ following Myanmar Meetings

Radio Free Asia
Myanmar and Association of Southeast Asian Nations delegates hold discussions about repatriation with Rohingya at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Dec. 19, 2019.

A week after Myanmar defended itself before an international court over allegations of genocide against Rohingya, a delegation from Naypyidaw tried to persuade refugees in Bangladesh to repatriate, but rejected demands for citizenship and international monitoring, officials and reports said.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Officials: Myanmar, Bangladesh Working to Repatriate 3,450 Rohingya Refugees

Radio Free Asia

A Rohingya man and children appear outside a makeshift home at a refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar district, July 7, 2019. BenarNews

Bangladesh and Myanmar said Friday they were working on the first repatriation of Rohingya refugees since members of the ethnic minority fled a massive military crackdown in Rakhine state two years ago, amid confusion over how the process would unfold.

“Myanmar has given clearance to about 3,450 people [to return from refugee camps in Bangladesh],” Mohammad Abul Kalam, chief of Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission, told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

ICC Delegation Head Wraps up Visit to Bangladesh, Rohingya Camps

Radio Free Asia

 A Bangladeshi official (dark-blue, long-sleeve shirt) briefs International Criminal Court representatives before their visit to Rohingya camps near the Konarpara border crossing point in Naikhongchhari sub-district, southeastern Bangladesh, July 20, 2019.BenarNews 

An International Criminal Court prosecutor on Monday wrapped up a six-day trip to Bangladesh and Rohingya refugee camps in the southeast as part of preparations for a potential ICC investigation into alleged crimes of humanity against Rohingya by Myanmar’s military.

Deputy ICC Prosecutor James Stewart left the country after leading a delegation from the court based in The Hague, according to officials with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ICC team met with refugees at Rohingya camps over the weekend.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Men Detained by Myanmar Army Show Signs of Abuse While in Custody in Rakhine State

Myo Hein Swe, a Myanmar laborer arrested by the Myanmar military on terrorism charges for allegedly having ties to the Arakan Army, enters Kyauktaw Township Court in western Myanmar's Rakhine state, June 25, 2019.  

Nine civilians detained by the Myanmar military on suspicion of attacking an army column appeared on Tuesday in court in war-ridden Rakhine state’s Mrauk-U township, with two of them accusing soldiers of torture and rights abuses while in custody, their family members and a rights group said.

Interview: ‘I Really Think That Myanmar is Going Down a Dark Path Now’

Yanghee Lee, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, discusses the Myanmar military and human rights in the Southeast Asian nation during a video call with RFA, June 26, 2019.

Yanghee Lee, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, has been an outspoken critic of Myanmar’s powerful military and its brutal crackdowns on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state in 2016 and 2017. She has called for the prosecution of those responsible for committing suspected acts of genocide against the Rohingya, and blasted the armed forces for their treatment of other ethnic minorities in conflict zones in Kachin and northern Shan states. In late 2017, the Myanmar government barred Lee from visiting the country to assess the rights situation after it said a previous mission report she issued was biased and unfair.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rohingya Groups Say ASEAN Must Not Endorse Myanmar’s Whitewash of Brutal Campaign

Radio Free Asia
A security officer stands guard during the preparations for the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, June 19, 2019. Reuters
Nearly two dozen Rohingya and civil society groups on Thursday called for leaders and representatives from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to work towards a just and safe plan for the repatriation of Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar and warned regional leaders against endorsing Myanmar’s whitewash of military atrocities.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Myanmar Authorizes Helicopter Use by Military in Rakhine

Spokesperson for Myanmar's President's Office Zaw Htay speaks to reporters on June 7, 2019. RFA

The government of Myanmar on Friday authorized the use of helicopters in combat by the country’s military in war-torn Rakhine state, at the same time cautioning the army to conduct its operations “with great care” to avoid civilian deaths.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Village Leaders in Myanmar’s Kyauktaw Resign, Citing Military Arrests

Kyauktaw township offices in Myanmar's Rakhine state are shown in a June 4, 2019 photo.
Photo courtesy of Kyaw Hlamyint

Over 40 village administrators in the Kyauktaw township of Myanmar’s Rakhine state resigned their posts on Tuesday to protest the arrests of colleagues by military forces, saying that civilian workers suspected of involvement with the rebel Arakan Army should be investigated only in cooperation with civilian departments.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Villagers Demand Answers as Myanmar Rights Commission Visits Rakhine Shooting Site

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission conducts interviews with villagers at Kyauk Tan village, scene of a deadly army shooting early this month, May 31, 2019.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission has sent a survey team to investigate the shooting deaths early this month of seven civilians held in military custody in troubled Rakhine state’s Kyauk Tan village, where survivors continue to reject the army’s account of a riot by captured villagers.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

UN Fact-Finding Mission Recommends Suspension of International Dealings with Myanmar’s Military

United Nations' Independent International Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar chairperson Marzuki Darusman presents the final report on alleged rights violations during a press conference on August 27, 2018 in Geneva.  
The government of Myanmar has again rejected U.N. calls for accountability in its handling of the ongoing Rohingya crisis after a statement by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) on Myanmar Tuesday urged the international community to cut off financial aid to Myanmar’s military.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Girl Killed, Villagers Hurt by Myanmar Army Gunfire in Rakhine State


Khine Linn Htay (L) is treated at Sittwe Hospital for injuries caused by artillery shells from fighting in Marlar Taung village, Kyauktaw township, western Myanmar's Rakhine state, May 20, 2019.
Photo courtesy of Phyu-sin Myitta Group

One child was killed and two other villagers were injured by gunfire from government soldiers in war-torn Rakhine state’s Kyauktaw township Sunday evening, amid wider armed conflict with a rebel ethnic military in Myanmar's western region, local residents said.

The shooting, which occurred in an area between Myauk Taung and Marlar Taung villages east of the Kaladan River, left 10-year-old Athein Chae dead, said Aung Hla Sein, the administrative head of Myauk Taung village.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Myanmar Army Rounds Up Hundreds of Rakhine Villagers For Questioning


Three people walk along a road during a government-organized visit for journalists in Buthidaung township close to a surge in fighting between the Arakan Army and government troops in western Myanmar's Rakhine state, Jan. 25, 2019.

Myanmar’s military has rounded up several hundred people in several villages in Rakhine state for questioning about their ties to the Arakan Army (AA), holding 275 men after releasing women, children, and the elderly, local sources told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Wednesday.

Monday, April 29, 2019

US Religious Freedoms Panel Calls For Vietnam Listing as 'Country of Particular Concern'

Reported by Richard Finney
A young Muslim boy stands outside Hanoi's only mosque in a file photo.

A U.S. bipartisan commission called on Monday for Vietnam to be placed on a State Department blacklist of the world’s worst abusers of religious freedoms, noting that the country’s removal from the list 13 years ago has not eased violations under one-party communist rule.

Although the State Department removed Vietnam from its list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) in 2006 amid improving diplomatic relations, “the government of Vietnam has continued to persecute religious individuals and organizations,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in an annual report.

Chin Ethnics Urge Arakan Army to Free Villagers; AA Warns of Severe Fighting With Myanmar Army


The Arakan Army insignia is seen on the uniform of a soldier in western Myanmar's Rakhine state in an undated photo.RFA 
An ethnic Chin group has called on the rebel Arakan Army (AA) to release 52 residents it abducted from Paletwa township in western Myanmar’s Chin state during a clash earlier this year with Myanmar forces that spilled over from armed conflict in adjacent Rakhine state, the head of the group said.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Women Are Increasingly Drawn to the Arakan Army’s Fight Against Myanmar’s Central Government.


Female Arakan Army recruits train with their male counterparts in northern Myanmar's Kachin state in an undated photo.

RFA video screenshot

The Arakan Army, which is battling the Myanmar military for autonomy in turbulent Rakhine state, has grown in both force strength and firepower since its formation in 2009 to the level that the rebel group can now launch successful offensives on police or military outposts. And its message is drawing as many young female recruits as men.