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Burma: Authorities must avoid further 'scorched-earth' tactics after Rakhine killings

© Steve Tickner: all rights reserved

Responding to mounting reports of violence in northern Rakhine State, including the deaths of Buddhist and Rohingya villagers during the past week, James Gomez, Amnesty International’s Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

“The alarming reports of attacks in northern Rakhine State underscore the need for everyone operating in the area to refrain from violence before it spirals out of control.

“While the Burmese authorities have the duty to maintain law and order and investigate these attacks, they must ensure that these investigations are conducted in a fair and transparent manner, in accordance with international human rights law.

“The authorities’ pledge to respond to the latest killings in Rakhine with ‘intensive clearance operations’ is particularly worrying, given the scorched-earth tactics Amnesty International has documented during these operations in the past.

“These latest attacks underscore the need for the Burmese authorities to cooperate fully with the UN Fact-Finding Mission and allow them unfettered access to all parts of the country. The people of Burma and the international community deserve to know the truth.”

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