There is a reasonable basis to conclude that Myanmar military committed genocide against Rohingya Muslims, a human rights law group contracted by the US State Department said.
The law group – Washington-based Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) – was assigned to interview refugees as part of an investigation into atrocities against Rohingya Muslims and their report is due to be released on Monday (3), reported Reuters.
A US State Department report released in September had stopped short of describing the crackdown as genocide. A declaration of genocide could mean Washington taking stronger punitive measures against Myanmar.
In an advisory on Thursday (29) announcing the planned release of the legal analysis of its investigation, PILPG said it would reveal that “there is a reasonable basis to conclude that war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide were committed against the Rohingya population.”
PILPG came out with the report after interviewing more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees who fled to Bangladesh. The interviews were conducted in March and April “to provide an accurate accounting of the patterns of abuse and atrocity crimes.”
More than 700,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state to escape killings and destruction of their villages by the military and Buddhist vigilantes.
Although Bangladesh authorities said they are ready to begin repatriating some of the more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims, many refugees have refused to leave saying they fear for their safety.
“I will not go. My wife and other family members have gone elsewhere, they do not want to go,” 35-year-old Nurul Amin told The Associated Press outside the Jamtoli camp, where he and his family have been living for more than a year.
“I stayed back to guard my valuables,” he said. “If you say you will shoot us if we do not agree to go back, we will welcome bullets, we still will not go.”