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Myanmar finds soldiers guilty in Rohingya atrocities court martial

Published : Wednesday, 1 July, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 127

YANGON, June 30: Three Myanmar military officers were found guilty by a court martial investigating atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in conflict-ridden Rakhine state, the army announced on Tuesday.
The rare action against military members came as Myanmar faces charges of genocide at the United Nations' top court over a brutal 2017 crackdown against the Rohingya.
Some 750,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh with accounts of widespread murder, rape and arson.
Rights groups accused security forces of committing atrocities in various villages, including Gu Dar Pyin, where they alleged at least five shallow mass graves had been found.
Estimates from survivors in Bangladesh put the death toll in the hundreds. After initially denying the allegations, the military started court martial proceedings in September, admitting there had been "weakness in following instructions" in the village.
The commander-in-chief's office announced Tuesday the court martial had "confirmed the guilty verdict" and sentenced three officers.
No details were provided on the perpetrators, their crimes, or sentences.
Rights groups Amnesty International called the lack of transparency on the court martial "alarming".
"Closed door trials shrouded in secrecy, and marred by a lack of independence in the military judiciary system, are not the way to end military impunity in Myanmar," said Amnesty's Ming Yu Hah. The government has largely supported the army's justification of the 2017 operations as a means of rooting out insurgents.




Civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi admitted at the International Court of Justice in December, however, that disproportionate force may have been used.    -AFP




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