Rohingya villages destroyed 'to erase evidence'

Myanmar monks from the hardline Buddhist group Ma Ba Tha and their supporters denounce a U.S. statement about Rohingya Muslims who died in a boat accident at a rally outside the American embassy in Yangon

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The Globe and Mail reported that after flying over Rakhine state in a helicopter, Rae said seeing "many, many burnt-out villages and destroyed villages and villages in which there's no sign of human activity whatsoever is-to put it mildly-sobering and ...deeply chilling".

"The spectres of hatred and fear now loom large in world affairs, and we have few governments standing up for human rights in these disturbing times".

The demolition would lead to destruction of crucial evidence of mass atrocities against Myanmar's Rohingya minority.

More than 700,000 Rohingya have taken shelter in Bangladesh after fleeing crackdown by Myanmar military in August.

"The feeble response to crimes against humanity and war crimes from Myanmar to Syria and Yemen underscored the lack of leadership on human rights".

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Amnesty said President Donald Trump had taken backward steps on human rights that were setting a unsafe precedent. They are viewed by the local authorities as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, although many have been living in the region for decades, if not centuries.

There has been little evidence of Rohingya wanting to return to conditions described as "apartheid" by Amnesty International.

Two Reuters reporters in Myanmar were arrested while investigating the killing of Rohingya Muslims. "The transformation of discrimination and demonisation into mass violence is tragically familiar, and its ruinous consequences can not be easily undone".

This climatic danger adds to the adverse conditions in the country's camps for refugees and the violence in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar, where they are denied of their basic rights, according to a report by UNICEF.

Free speech will be a key issue for those concerned about human rights this year, the report said.

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"While Burma assures they can properly return mass numbers of refugees to safety and dignity, we are watching them fail to humanely treat even 6,500 of them".

It also highlights ongoing atrocities in Syria's civil war. They include 730 children below the age of 5.

Pictures and images of dead and injured have shocked the world: United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres described the besieged city as "hell on earth". The security forces acted after a Rohingya militant group carried out coordinated attacks on more than 30 police outposts and other targets.

"Government forces maintained lengthy sieges on densely populated areas, restricting access to humanitarian and medical aid to thousands of civilians".

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