Myanmar troops sentenced ten years for Rohingya slayings

Myanmar troops sentenced ten years for Rohingya slayings
In a rare investigation, Myanmar military found seven of their personnel guilty of the Rohingya slayings.
2 min read
11 April, 2018
A mass grave was found with ten bodies in the northern Maungdaw region [AFP]

Seven of Myanmar’s military personnel were sentenced to ten years prison and hard labour as alleged accomplices in the killing of Rohingya Muslims in the country's Rakhine state.

The Muslim-majority province has seen the army carry out a brutal crackdown against the minority group said officials on Tuesday.

According to a statement released by the army chief on an official Facebook page, the military personnel were permanently expelled from the army.

In January, the army made a rare admission that its soldiers killed ten Rohingya villagers who were captured last year in Inn Din village in northern Rakhine and accused of being terrorists. The military said its soldiers confessed to carrying out the murders.

The statement said that an investigative group had questioned 21 military personnel, three police officers, 13 security forces, six civil servants and six Inn Din villagers and results found that the soldiers violated the law by killing the villagers.

"For the military personnel under the Military Act 71, four military personnel and three soldiers will be sentenced to ten years in prison with hard labour and to be permanently expelled from the army," the statement said.

Some 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled over the border to Bangladesh since August to escape a bloody military crackdown that has left a trail of torched villages in its wake as refugees allege murder and rape by Myanmar's armed forces.

The army denies the allegations and casts its campaign as a legitimate response to Rohingya militant attacks on August 25 that killed about a dozen border guard police.

A mass grave containing ten bodies was found in the northern Maungdaw region, of which the military described as "Bengali terrorists."

Myanmar brands the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, denying them their belonging to the Buddhist-majority country. It has systematically dismantled their legal rights and access to basic services in Rakhine, a state where many have lived for generations.

Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a repatriation deal in November, however, the UN says conditions in Myanmar are still not suitable for their return.