Deaths lead to human rights call for Burma
HUMAN rights groups have called for action after a week of violence in western Burma, which one said it has documented with satellite imagery.
State television reported that clashes between the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities had left 67 people dead, 95 injured and 2,818 houses burned down in seven of Rakhine state’s townships since Sunday.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued separate statements calling for more government action to protect lives.
Human Rights Watch released satellite photos that it said showed extensive destruction in a predominantly Rohingya area of one township.
In June, ethnic violence in Rakhine killed at least 90 people and destroyed 3,000 homes. About 75,000 have been living in refugee camps since. Curfews have been in place in some areas and were extended in scope last week.
“These latest incidents between Muslim Rohingyas and Buddhists demonstrate how urgent it is that the authorities intervene to protect everyone, and break the cycle of discrimination and violence,” Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director, Isabelle Arradon, said.
Human Rights Watch said the Rohingya have suffered the brunt of the violence.
It said the death toll may be higher than that officially reported, based on witnesses’ accounts and a history of government undercounting in cases that might reflect badly on it.
The Rohingya face official discrimination. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch both highlighted a 1984 law that effectively deprives most Rohingya of citizenship and denies them many basic civil rights.
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