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Rakhine attacks mark a dangerous escalation, says Amnesty


Residents ride a truck as they leave an area close to fighting to seek safe place at Rathedaung township of northern Rakhine State, western Myanmar, 25 August 2017. Photo: Nyunt Win/EPA

Amnesty International has spoken of concern over escalating violence in Rakhine State, according to a press release on August 25.

Responding to the attacks by Rohingya militants in Myanmar which left at least 32 people, including 11 security personnel, dead, Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Deputy Campaigns Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

“These attacks are a dangerous escalation in violence and could put ordinary people in Rakhine State at risk, in particular as tensions have been reaching a boiling point in the region recently. We urge all sides to show the utmost restraint and ensure that ordinary people are protected from human rights violations and abuses.

“The investigation into these criminal acts must be prompt, thorough and effective, and comply with international human rights standards. Any prosecutions must respect fair trial rights and not result in the death penalty.”

Mr Benedict mentioned concern over the possibility of a repeat of alleged reprisals being carried out against Rohingya civilians. 

“It is crucial that the government makes every effort to address the long-standing and systematic discrimination in Rakhine State, which has left people trapped in a cycle of violence and destitution. As a first step, authorities must push forward with implementing recommendations outlined in the recent report by the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State,” he said.

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