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Amnesty International accuses Myanmar of imposing 'apartheid' on Rohingyas

The organisation noted that the repression against the Rohingyas has intensified "dramatically" since 2012

IANS  |  Nay Pyi Taw 

Amnesty International accuses Myanmar of imposing 'apartheid' on Rohingyas

on Tuesday accused of imposing a system of apartheid on the Muslim minority, saying that an institutionalised system of discrimination constitutes a crime against humanity.

The group released a report after a two-year investigation of the crisis in Myanmar's state, reports Efe news.

Amnesty said the were "trapped in a vicious system of state-sponsored, institutionalised discrimination" that "severely restricts virtually all aspects of Rohingyas' lives", including confining them to a "ghetto-like existence".

"The authorities are keeping women, men and children segregated and cowed in a dehumanising system of apartheid," Anna Neistat, Amnesty International's Senior Director for Research, said in a statement.

The organisation noted that the repression against the Rohingyas has intensified "dramatically" since 2012 when the sectarian conflict between the Buddhist and communities broke out in

The state-sponsored discriminatory measures involve "an intricate web of national laws" that restrict Rohingyas rights to freedom of movement, hinder their access to employment, healthcare or education, and deny them citizenship and necessary identification documents.

The rights group added that such measures prevent the Rohingyas, who fled the country, from returning to Myanmar, including about 700,000 Rohingyas who sought refuge in Bangladesh after the military carried out several operations in 2016 and 2017 in in response to the insurgents' attacks.

"This system appears designed to make Rohingyas' lives as hopeless and humiliating as possible," Neistat added in the note, describing the military campaign as "ethnic cleansing".

According to the NGO, the authorities are legally obliged to dismantle the apartheid system, which is considered a crime against humanity, and bring those responsible for such acts to justice.

Amnesty International's latest statement echoes the outcry including that of the UN High Commissioner for that described the situation as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

About a million Rohingyas lived in before the recent military operations that led to their exodus to refugee camps in Bangladesh.

First Published: Tue, November 21 2017. 16:29 IST
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