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HRW: New Rohingya villages in Myanmar destroyed
Human Rights Watch, the world' s leading guard dog, says he found new devastations of Rohingya communities in the north of Myanmar in October and November. Identifying 40 new village with demolition, the group increased its estimates to a current 354 Rohingya village, which have been partly or entirely demolished since August 25, 2017.
Since then, more than half a million Rohingya have escaped to neighbouring Bangladesh to avoid the war. On Monday, "dozens" of homes were burnt in the same Monday in which Myanmar, also known as Burma, ratified an accord with neighbouring Bangladesh to begin the return of displaced persons within two month.
"The Burma Army's demolition of Rohingya village within a few day of a return treaty being signed with Bangladesh shows that the commitment to return safely was just a PR gag," said Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. Over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine State since August 25 after rebels assaulted the insurgency and triggered a violent armed action called ethnical purge.
Burma does not recognise the Rohingya and refuses them nationality by calling them "Bengali", indicating their origin in Bangladesh. Although Myanmar's de facto Leader and winner of the Aung San Suu Kyi Prize has been criticised for evading accusations of abuse, many Western leaders are hesitant to outlaw her during a delicate democratic process.
Burmese Reporter Face Secrets Act Fees
On Monday, a Myanmar tribunal accused two detained Reuters investigators of receiving classified state records and bringing the groundbreaking case of media freedoms into its litigation phase after six month of pretrial. Ye Lwin, county magistrate, accused reporter Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, of violating the Official Secrets Act of colonisation, which provides for a 14-year jail sentence.
Neither journalist argued not to blame and told the judges that they had "followed the ethic of journalism". "Talking to reporter outside the courtroom, Wa Lone said he and Kyaw Soe Oo hadn' t done any crimes and would bear witness to their virginity in the courtroom. Principal plaintiff Kyaw Min Aung exited the building before the press could ask him about it.
A number of West German embassies and legal groups say it is a test of advancement towards full democratisation under the leadership of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in a land where the army still exerts significant clout. The Myanmar spokesperson Zaw Htay has refused to speak throughout the trial as Myanmar's tribunals are sovereign and the case would be brought under the Act.
It did not respond to phone requests for comments following Monday's verdict. According to the judgement, the tribunal had brought an action against both journalists under section 3. Acts of Investigation of the Public Prosecutor's Office's claims that it has gathered and obtained confidential documentation about the police with the intent of harming domestic safety.
The case will now move into the litigation stage, in which defenders will call testimonies before the court, which according to law enforcement specialists will then give a ruling. Defender Khin Maung Zaw said both journalists would give their testimony at the next hearings. Earlier this month, defenders asked the court to toss out the case, arguing both that the prosecution would fail to furnish enough proof to back up the charges. However, the court did not rule out the case.
During the same hearings on July 2, Public Attorney Kyaw Min Aung asked the court to prosecute the reporter. Said that when they were detained, papers in their possession depicted in detail the movement of the police, while other papers found on their cell phone range from classified to top-disclosed. When they were apprehended in December, the journalists had been working on an inquiry into the murder of 10 Muslim Rohingya men and young men in a small town in the West Burmese state of Rakhine.
According to the UN organizations, more than 700,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. Reporter reports have said that they were almost immediately apprehended after being curled up in a Yangon restaurants by two police officers they had not known.
Captain Moe Yan Naing said in April that a high-ranking official had ordered his subjects to place classified documentation on Wa Lone to "catch" the report. Moe Yan Naing was condemned to one year in prison after appearing in the courtroom for talking to Wa Lone, and his wife and daughter were expelled by the cops.
Authors, the media and defenders of fundamental freedoms around the globe have gathered on account of the detained journalists, with the United Nations and several West European nations demanding their free. "We' re very frustrated by the verdict," said the acting chief of the Myanmar Dorte Chortsen missions.