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Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya may be genocide, UN Human Rights watchdog says

The United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights says the mounting evidence of military-perpetrated atrocities against Rohingya Muslims could constitute international criminal law’s most serious charge.

“Can anyone — can anyone — rule out that elements of genocide may be present?” Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein asked the UN’s Human Rights Council at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland overnight.

He cited a long list of atrocities Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh say they have suffered, describing them as “acts of appalling barbarity”.

“[They include] deliberately burning people to death inside their homes, murders of children and adults, indiscriminate shooting of fleeing civilians, widespread rapes of women and girls, and the burning and destruction of houses, schools, markets and mosques,” he said.

Mr Zeid Al-Hussein had previously described the campaign by Myanmar’s military as “textbook” ethnic cleansing.

However, while ethnic cleansing is not a designated offence under international law, genocide is the most serious of atrocity crimes.

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