Daily reports of Rohingya rapes, killings
The UN human rights office says it is getting daily reports of rapes and killings of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, although the government is insultingly dismissing the claims and making the situation worse.
Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said Friday the government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has taken a "short-sighted, counterproductive, even callous" approach to the crisis.
In a statement, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the policy could have grave long-term repercussions for the region.
At least 86 people have been killed in the latest wave of racial violence against the Rohingya Muslims, even though independent reports put the toll much higher.
The United Nations has estimated 27,000 members of the largely stateless Rohingya minority have fled across the border to Bangladesh.
The Rakhine state in northern Myanmar has been under a military siege since October over a raid on a police post that the government has blamed on the Rohingya.
There have been reports of rape, murder, and arson against the Muslim population in the state.
On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said evidence showed Myanmar’s military is behind the torching of villages belonging to the Muslims.
The New York-based rights body said at least 1,500 buildings have been destroyed since October 2015 in Rakhine, home to a large number of Rohingya Muslims.
Since the crackdown began, the government is refusing to allow aid agencies and media into the troubled region.
Rakhine has been the scene of communal violence at the hands of Buddhist extremists since 2012. Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands have been forced from homes.
The government denies full citizenship to the 1.1 million-strong population, branding them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh despite the fact that most of the Rohingya have an ancient lineage in Myanmar.
The fresh spate of violence has triggered international condemnation, with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak denouncing Suu Kyi for allowing “genocide” under her administration.