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Myanmar forces committed ‘widespread rape’ of Rohingya

Myanmar’s security forces committed “widespread rape” against Rohingya women and girls as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the country’s Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in a report.

A 15-year-old Rohingya girl told HRW that soldiers stripped her naked and dragged her from her home to a nearby tree where about 10 men raped her.

“They left me where I was. When my brother and sister came to get me, I was lying there on the ground, they thought I was dead,” said the girl from Hathi Para village in Maungdaw district.

She was one of the 52 female refugees that the New York-based rights body interviewed for the report that was published on Thursday.

Myanmar’s army had earlier released a report denying all allegations of rape and killings by security forces which was termed “absurd” by a human rights group.

More than 600,000 majority-Muslim Rohingya have been forced to seek shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh and their homes and properties have been destroyed in arson attacks since August 25. Hundreds of them have also been killed by Myanmar soldiers and Buddhist mobs.

The report also quoted many rape survivors reporting “days of agony walking with swollen and torn genitals while fleeing to Bangladesh”.

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