UN report condemns sexual violence against Rohingya by Myanmar military

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UN investigators have concluded that sexual violence committed by Myanmar soldiers against Rohingya Muslim women and girls was an indication of the military’s genocidal intent to destroy the persecuted ethnic minority in their homeland of Rakhine state.

Sexual violence was so widespread and severe that it demonstrated intent to commit genocide and as warranted prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar said in a report on Thursday.

“The Mission now concludes on reasonable grounds that the sexual violence perpetrated against women and girls that began on 25 August 2017 was a sixth factor that indicated the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military)’s genocidal intent to destroy the Rohingya people,” the panel of independent investigators said.

According to the panel, soldiers “routinely and systematically employed rape, gang rape and other violent and forced sexual acts against women, girls, boys, men and transgender people in blatant violation of international human rights law.”

“Hundreds of Rohingya women and girls were raped, with 80 percent of the rapes corroborated by the Mission being gang rapes. The Tatmadaw was responsible for 82 percent of these gang rapes,” the report said.

The conclusion was based on “the widespread and systematic killing of women and girls, the systematic selection of women and girls of reproductive ages for rape, attacks on pregnant women and on babies, the mutilation and other injures to their reproductive organs, the physical branding of their bodies by bite marks on their cheeks, neck, breast and thigh.”

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