Myanmar: Scorched-earth campaign fuels ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Rakhine State

Amnesty International
Press Release
September 14, 2017

Amnesty International can reveal new evidence pointing to a mass-scale scorched-earth campaign across northern Rakhine State, where Myanmar security forces and vigilante mobs are burning down entire Rohingya villages and shooting people at random as they try to flee.

The organization’s analysis of active fire-detection data, satellite imagery, photographs and videos from the ground, as well as interviews with dozens of eyewitnesses in Myanmar and across the border in Bangladesh, shows how an orchestrated campaign of systematic burnings has targeted Rohingya villages across northern Rakhine State for almost three weeks.

“The evidence is irrefutable – the Myanmar security forces are setting northern Rakhine State ablaze in a targeted campaign to push the Rohingya people out of Myanmar. Make no mistake: this is ethnic cleansing,” said Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director.

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Aung San Suu Kyi interviewed by students in Washington

The Amnesty International Club at Vashon High School in Vashon Island, Washington held a telephone conference with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on December 10, 2010. Aung San Suu Kyi was released on November 13, 2010 after spending more than 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest and is now able to communicate with people from around the world.

The telephone conference was organized by Alix Clarke along with students Brooke Kipling and Emma Lodes. Teacher Harris Levinson helped the students pose questions to Aung San Suu Kyi. The group in attendance felt very honored to be able to ask her questions and hear her brilliant and insightful answers.

Click the play button below to listen to the call:
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Aung San Suu Kyi released from house arrest

13 November 2010

Myanmar should free all prisoners of conscience
following Aung San Suu Kyi’s release

Amnesty International today welcomes the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, but calls on the government of Myanmar to immediately release all of the prisoners of conscience in the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s best-known prisoner of conscience, has spent more than 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest. She was one of more than 2,200 political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, currently being held in deplorable conditions for simply exercising their right to peaceful protest.

“While Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release is certainly welcome, it only marks the end of an unfair sentence that was illegally extended, and is by no means a concession on the part of the authorities”, said Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty. “The fact remains that authorities should never have arrested her or the many other prisoners of conscience in Myanmar in the first place, locking them out of the political process”.

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Call on ASEAN to reign in Myanmar before the November election

The last time an election took place in Myanmar (also known as Burma), the results were ignored and the winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, was locked up.

Twenty years later – on November 7 – the country will hold another much-anticipated and highly controversial election. However Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party won the elections 20 years ago by a landslide, will likely not be released from house arrest until after the election has concluded.

Aung San Suu Kyi is one of more than 2,100 political prisoners detained in Myanmar today. Silencing opposition voices violates three fundamental freedoms that all member countries of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – including Myanmar – must adhere to: freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

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Denounce Aung San Suu Kyi’s imprisonment

Myanmar’s military junta extended Nobel Peace laureate and pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s imprisonment by 18 months today after finding her guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest.

Critics of Myanmar’s military regime condemned the outcome of the 3-month sham trial, calling it a pretext to keep Aung San Suu Kyi out of the running during next year’s presidential elections.

The junta — which currently detains more than 2,100 political prisoners — commuted the sentence from three years hard labor in prison to an 18-month extension of house arrest in the hopes that the international community will view the reduced sentence as an act of leniency.

But Aung San Suu Kyi should have never been imprisoned in the first place.

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