Reuters journalists face jail in Burma for reporting on violence against Rohingya

Reuters journalists face jail in Burma for reporting on violence against Rohingya

Reuters journalists face jail in Burma for reporting on violence against Rohingya

Global aid group Doctors Without Borders, known by its French name MSF, said its field survey has found at least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed between August and September in a crackdown by Burma's security forces.

MSF said more than 59% of children below the age of five who were killed were reportedly shot, 15% burnt to death in their homes, 7% were beaten to death and 2% died in land mine blasts. "The peak in deaths coincides with the launch of the latest "clearance operations" by Myanmar security forces in the last week of August".

The estimate of the number of deaths announced by the group compares to Myanmar's government figure of 400 in September as a result of attacks on police posts by Rohingya militants.

"It is abhorrent to make these people return to a place they have just recently fled with no guarantee they will be safe and will not be left at the mercy of their persecutors once again", its Bangladesh director Mark Pierce said in a statement.

Global aid and rights groups have accused the military of arson, killings and rapes of Rohingya villagers. It said they had collected "information and important secret papers related to the security forces" from the policemen, who had earlier worked in Rakhine but were now in Yangon, the country's largest city. They took away my two young sisters who never returned.

Both the United Nations and United States have branded the scale of violence in Rakhine as "ethnic cleansing".

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The U.N. Human Rights Chief condemned attacks against the Rohingya in Myanmar on December 5 and called for a criminal investigation into those involved in the violence.

Myanmar government officials have strongly denied the allegations and blamed ARSA rebels for the violence.

More than 647,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh since August, MSF says.

During that one-month period, the mortality rate among Rohingya soared to eight deaths per 10,000 people.

Shawn Crispin, a senior representative for the Committee to Protect Journalists, also called on Myanmar authorities to "to immediately, unconditionally release" the journalists. At that time, only two weeks into the crackdown, a United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, put the toll at around 1,000 or more dead.

"We chose to help our Muslim brothers and sisters in Myanmar".

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