Thousands in Bangladesh protest deaths of Myanmar's Rohingya

Thousands in Bangladesh protest deaths of Myanmar's Rohingya

Reports of atrocities have surfaced over the past few weeks.

A spokesman said the government was "very, very disappointed" by the comments. The BBC can not visit the area to verify what is occurring there, as journalists and aid workers have been barred.

"Despite our border guards' honest effort to prevent the influx, thousands of distressed Myanmar citizens including women, children and elderly people continue to cross (the) border into Bangladesh", the government said.

Bangladesh stepped up border patrols and summoned their ambassador to complain about the exodus.

John McKissick, of the United Nations refugee agency, stated that security forces are "killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river".

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, is a strong supporter of the Rohingya cause. "But seven people are missing including my three children", he said.

"The Rohingya are being squeezed by the callous actions of both the Burmese [Myanmar] and Bangladesh authorities", said Champa Patel, Amnesty's South Asia director.

A group of Islamic non-governmental organisations has slammed the alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, calling them an affront to worldwide human rights.

Myanmar's military started a systematic persecution of the Rohingyas in the 1970s when thousands were deported to Bangladesh.

Earlier this week Human Rights Watch released satellite images that revealed over 1200 homes in Rohingya villages that have been destroyed.

"The cabinet decided not to pull out of the tournament and will pursue other avenues to raise our concerns and ask for action to be taken so whatever is happening in Rakhine state will stop".

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Myanmar, also known as Burma, launched a massive security operation in the region in October following the attack and murder of nine police officers on border posts in Maungdaw. "The security forces must not be given carte blanche to step up their operations under the smokescreen of having allowed access to an global delegation".

Activists from within the Muslim minority group claim that more than 100 people have already been killed, with hundreds more detained in retaliation for recent attacks on the police. One woman told how soldiers had raped and killed her daughter and said she had only narrowly escaped the same fate.

The government says troops are defending the country from an armed insurgency.

"In our villages where we use to live, there are no Rohingya Muslims left".

In Myanmar the Rohingya are seen as illegal immigrants and labelled "Bengali", even though many have lived there for generations.

They face widespread discrimination and mistreatment.

Up to 500,000 undocumented Rohingya have been living in Bangladesh after arriving from Myanmar in waves since the 1970s.

Is the government to blame?

Aung San Suu Kyi, who famously led democracy efforts in the country, has been accused of failing to protect the Rohingya.

"We nabbed them after they illegally trespassed (into Bangladesh)". Their plight has been woefully underreported by the global media, despite many human rights organisations and worldwide aid agencies recognising their maltreatment as genocide.

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