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  3. Arakanese Muslims remain in appalling conditions: HRW
Arakanese Muslims remain in appalling conditions: HRW

Arakanese Muslims remain in appalling conditions: HRW

Human Rights Watch says an estimated 500,000 Muslims in Arakan state are living in appalling conditions.

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A statement from Human Rights Watch [HRW] said security forces have imprisoned Arakanese Muslims in villages and camps and restricted their freedom of movement.

The Myanmar government should stop obstructing international efforts to investigate widespread crimes committed against Rohingya Muslims, Human Rights Watch said.

Donors and concerned governments should press Myanmar to protect their basic rights, facilitate international justice for victims, and ensure that any returns of Rohingya refugees are voluntary, safe, and dignified.

August 25, 2019, marks two years since the Myanmar military began a campaign of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity that drove 740,000 Rohingya to neighboring Bangladesh.

A United Nations-backed Fact-Finding Mission found sufficient information to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior military officials for grave crimes, including genocide, in Rakhine State.

"Two years since the Myanmar military carried out ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population, the government still denies its troops committed any atrocities," said Phil Robertson, HRW deputy Asia director.

"The bulldozing of Rohingya homes to destroy evidence after the ethnic cleansing is emblematic of the government’s campaign to whitewash its crimes."

The Myanmar government has not acted to improve conditions or address the causes underlying the human rights crisis facing Rohingya in Rakhine State.

An estimated 500,000 Rohingya remain in appalling conditions in Rakhine State.

Security forces have confined them to camps and villages and severely restricted their freedom of movement.

The government has denied them fundamental freedoms and deprived them of access to sustainable livelihoods and basic humanitarian services including adequate food, medical care, and education.

The government restricts access to Rakhine State by news media and aid workers and since June 21 has imposed an internet blackout across nine townships, including one in Chin State.

The disruption of internet services has increased difficulties for humanitarian agencies and human rights groups to assist vulnerable people in the face of increased fighting in the area.

"The government should not use broad, indiscriminate shutdowns to curtail the flow of information, or to harm civilians' ability to assemble freely and express political views," HRW said.

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