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'Tied to trees and raped': UN report details Rohingya horrors
"UN report calls on Myanmar's military leaders to be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes.
Horrific accounts of murders, rapes, torture and indiscriminate shelling allegedly committed by the Burmese army against the Rohingya people and other minority groups have been laid out by UN investigators in an extensive new report detailing evidence for their accusation of genocide.
The report from the fact-finding mission, presented to the UN human rights council (UNHRC) on Tuesday, said Myanmar's military, known as the Tatmadaw, had committed "the gravest crimes under international law".
The full 440-page report, a summary of which was released in August, includes accounts of women tied by their hair or hands to trees then raped; young children trying to flee burning houses but forced back inside; widespread use of torture with bamboo sticks, cigarettes and hot wax; and landmines placed at the escape routes from villages, killing people as they fled army crackdowns."
The Guardian (UK), September 18, 2018
Myanmar: Security Forces Torture Rohingya Returnees
"(Bangkok) – Myanmar authorities have tortured and imprisoned Rohingya refugees who returned to Rakhine State from Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said today. The mistreatment reinforces the need for international protection, including United Nations monitors on the ground, before Rohingya will be able to return safely to Myanmar.
"The torture of Rohingya returnees puts the lie to Myanmar government promises that refugees who return will be safe and protected," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. "Despite Myanmar's rhetoric guaranteeing a safe and dignified return, the reality is that Rohingya who go back still face the persecution and abuses they were forced to flee."
Six Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape the Myanmar army's ethnic cleansing campaign told Human Rights Watch that Border Guard Police (BGP) apprehended them at different times when they returned to Rakhine State to earn money before going back to Bangladesh. Security forces tortured them during pretrial detention, they said. Each was summarily tried and sentenced to four years in prison, apparently for illegally crossing the border."
Human Rights Watch, August 21, 2018
Myanmar's military accused of genocide in damning UN report
"Myanmar's military has been accused of genocide against the Rohingya in Rakhine state in a damning UN report that alleged the army was responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity against minorities across the country.
The report, based on a fact-finding mission, said it found conclusive evidence that the actions of the country's armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, "undoubtedly amounted to the gravest crimes under international law" in Rakhine as well as in Kachin and Shan, states also riven by internal conflicts.
The UN investigators were denied access to Myanmar by the government but interviewed 875 witnesses who had fled the country. They found that the military were "killing indiscriminately, gang-raping women, assaulting children and burning entire villages" in Rakhine, home to the Muslim Rohingya, and in Shan and Kachin. The Tatmadaw also carried out murders, imprisonments, enforced disappearances, torture, rapes and used sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and enslavement – all of which constitute crimes against humanity."
The Guardian (UK), August 27, 2018
UN court convicts ex-general Ratko Mladic for Srebrenica genocide that killed 8,000 Muslims in 1995
" THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The United Nations' Yugoslav war crimes tribunal convicted Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic on Wednesday of genocide and crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to life in prison for atrocities during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war.
Mladic, 75, was found guilty of commanding forces responsible for crimes including the worst atrocities of the war — the deadly three-year siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica, which was Europe's worst mass killing since World War II."
AP, November 22, 2017
Former Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic convicted of genocide, gets 40-year sentence
"THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A U.N. court convicted former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic of genocide and nine other charges Thursday and sentenced him to 40 years in prison for orchestrating Serb atrocities throughout Bosnia's 1992-95 war that left 100,000 people dead."
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, March 24, 2016.
Former Auschwitz death camp guard Oskar Groening, 94, convicted as accessory to 300,0000 murders in German court
"LUENEBURG, Germany — A 94-year-old former SS sergeant who served at the Auschwitz death camp was convicted Wednesday on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence."
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, JULY 15, 2015.
Germany Moves Toward Calling Namibian Massacre Genocide
"BERLIN — German authorities are moving toward officially recognizing as "genocide" the colonial-era crackdown in Namibia by German troops more than a century ago in which over 65,000 ethnic Hereros were killed."
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, JULY 10, 2015.
Eritrea Calls UN Accusations of Rights Violations Unfounded
"UNITED NATIONS — Eritrea's foreign ministry is calling accusations by a U.N. commission that its government is responsible for systematic and widespread human rights violations and possible crimes against humanity "totally unfounded and devoid of merit."
A statement circulated Wednesday by Eritrea's Mission to the United Nations called the claims "wild," "indecent hyperbole," and an escalation of a politically motivated campaign to undermine the progress the country is making in the area of human rights."
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, JUNE 10, 2015.
Nobel Laureates Appeal for End to Persecution of Rohingya
"COPENHAGEN, Denmark—Several Nobel Peace Prize winners on Thursday called for an end to the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, describing it as 'nothing less than genocide,' and appealed for international help for them in Rakhine state."
Associated Press, May 28, 2015.
Serbia makes arrests in 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims
"SREBRENICA, Bosnia–Herzegovina—Prosecutors tell The Associated Press they have made Serbia's first arrests of people suspected of carrying out the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims, Europe's worst civilian slaughter since World War II."
Assoiated Press, March 18, 2015.
Croatia and Serbia Cleared of Genocide by Hague Court
"Peter Tomka, the presiding judge from Slovakia who read out the verdicts, spoke of the killings of civilians and the widespread destruction committed by the forces from both sides. But he said the large–scale operations to displace people in the two countries did not meet the criteria for genocide.
'Genocide requires the intent to destroy a group,' he said, 'not to inflict damage on it or to remove the population'."
New York Times, February 03, 2015.
2 Top Khmer Rouge Leaders Sentenced to Life in Prison
"Three and a half decades after the genocidal rule of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge ended, a U.N.–backed war crimes tribunal on Thursday sentenced two top leaders of the former regime to life in prison on war crimes charges for their roles during the country's 1970s terror.
The historic verdicts were announced in Phnom Penh against Khieu Samphan, the regime's 83–year–old former head of state, and Nuon Chea, its 88–year–old chief ideologue—the only two surviving leaders of the regime left to stand trial."
(Maybe there would be more of them left alive if it hadn't taken 35 years to bring them to trial?)
NPR, August 07, 2014.
Bosnia Buries 284 War Victims Unearthed From Gruesome Death Pit
"KOZARAC Bosnia (Reuters)—The remains of 284 victims of the Bosnian war were laid to rest on Sunday having been unearthed from what is believed to be the largest mass grave of Europe's worst conflict since World War Two."
Reuters Press, July 20, 2014.
The New Way of War: Killing the Kids
"Children are not just getting caught in the crossfire, they are also likely to be specific targets," Graça Machel, the Secretary–General's Special Representative, declared in the first U.N. "Children in War" report, in 1996. She went on: "When ethnic loyalties prevail, a perilous logic clicks in. The escalation from ethnic superiority to ethnic cleansing to genocide, as we have seen, can become an irresistible process. Killing adults is then not enough; future generations of the enemy—their children—must also be eliminated."
The New Yorker, July 04, 2014.
The Ethnic Cleansing Going on Right Now You've Probably Never Heard Of
"Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes, their leaders tortured and killed. Is this what democracy in Burma was supposed to look like?"
Take Part, June 26, 2014.
Aung San Suu Kyi's Silence on the Rohingya: Has 'The Lady' Lost Her Voice?
"HRW executive director Kenneth Roth was withering in a recent report: 'The world was apparently mistaken to assume that as a revered victim of rights abuse she would also be a principled defender of rights.'"
CNN.com, May 31, 2014.
300 killed in attack on Nigerian town
"Boko Haram targeted those living along the border, gunning people down in the marketplace, and setting houses on fire and then shooting them dead when they tried to escape."
Daily News, May 07, 2014.
Desperate Rohingya kids flee alone by boat
"From Malaysia to Australia, countries easily reachable by boat have been implementing policies and practices to ensure that Rohingya Muslims don't wash up on their shores — from shoving them back to sea, where they risk being sold as slaves, to flat out barring the refugees from stepping onto their soil.
Despite pleas from the United Nations, which considers the Rohingya to be among the most persecuted groups on earth, many governments in the region have refused to sign refugee conventions and protocols, meaning they are not obligated to help. The countries said they fear adopting the international agreements could attract a flood of immigrants they cannot support."
Associated Press, April 28, 2014.
Cambodian youth confront 'historical forgetting'
"The survey, completed two years ago, shed light on the ricochet effect of trauma on refugee families—families 'caught in the process of historical forgetting,' in the words of Jonathan H.X. Lee, an assistant professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University. Many of the girls' parents arrived in Long Beach in the early 1980s after fleeing the 'killing fields' of the Khmer Rouge regime, a genocide that resulted in an estimated 1.7 to 2 million deaths. Survivors of unimaginable horror, many have kept their stories untold, creating a generation of silence that has taken a profound toll on their children."
California Watch, March 28, 2014.
Rwandan Genocide Orphans band together to form "Families of Choice"
CNN.com, April 24, 2014
Nigerian Unrest: Gunmen Abduct 'about 100' Schoolgirls.
"The school is located not far from where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram have been carrying out attacks, as the BBC's Will Ross reports."
BBC News, April 15, 2014
- Boko Haram: a bloody insurgency, a growing challenge.
"It made headlines again this week with the abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. After a fierce gunbattle with soldiers, the militants herded the girls out of bed and onto buses, and sped off. Only a few of the 129 girls have been freed. What exactly is Boko Haram, and why has it turned into a Nigerian synonym for fear and bloodshed?"
CNN.com, April 17, 2014
- Parents: 234 girls kidnapped from Nigeria school
CHIBOK, Nigeria (AP) "Some 234 girls are missing from the northeast Nigerian school attacked last week by Islamic extremists, significantly more than the 85 reported by education officials, parents told the state governor Monday."
Yahoo News, April 21, 2014.
- Nigerians hold second day of protests over mass abductions
"Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of the Nigerian capital on Wednesday, demanding that the government do more to find scores of schoolgirls abducted by armed militants more than two weeks ago"
New York Times, April 30, 2014.
- Nigeria's Stolen Girls
"The circumstances of the kidnapping, and the military's deception, especially, have exposed a deeply troubling aspect of Nigeria's leadership: when it comes to Boko Haram, the government cannot be trusted."
The New Yorker, April 30, 2014.
- Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Schoolgirl Kidnapping
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls during a raid in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria last month, the French news agency AFP reported, citing a video it had obtained.
Voice of America, May 05, 2014.
- Boko Haram leader: "I will sell them"
"I will sell them," Boko Haram leader says of kidnapped Nigerian girls.
CNN.com, May 5, 2014.
- Nigerian Girl Describes Kidnap: 26 Still Missing
There were too many gunmen to count, said the girl who escaped. So, even after the students realized the men were Islamist extremists, they obediently sat in the dirt. The men set the school ablaze and herded the girl's group into the backs of three pickup trucks.
Time.com, May 05, 2014.
- Nigerian authorities failed to act on warnings about Boko Haram raid on school: Amnesty International
Damning testimonies gathered by Amnesty International reveal that Nigerian security forces failed to act on advance warnings about Boko Haram's armed raid on the state–run boarding school in Chibok which led to the abduction of more than 240 schoolgirls on 14–15 April, 2014.
- Nigeria Refused Help in Searching for Kidnapped Girls
The president of Nigeria for weeks refused international help to search for more than 300 girls abducted from a school by Islamic extremists, one in a series of missteps that have led to growing international outrage against the government.
Associated Press, May 10, 2014.
- Lost Forever? Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan cowers amid terror
"The Governor of Borno State Kashim Shettima says the federal government has been 'deaf, dumb and blind' to the threat posed by Boko Haram for three years."
NBC News, May 16, 2014.
- Nigerian Government calls off deal with Boko Haram for Release of Schoolgirls
"The Nigerian government has called off a deal with Boko Haram to return some of the kidnapped schoolgirls in exchange for the release of group members in custody, the BBC reports."
International Business Times, May 26, 2014.
- Nigerian schoolgirl freed by extremists comes home, shows signs of trauma
"Kidnapped 'Chibok girl' returns after five months in captivity. Spends initial night of freedom screaming 'They will kill me!' "
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, September 26, 2014.
Srebrenica: Worst European atrocity since WWII
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Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
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United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Arusha International Conference Centre
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Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice
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Women for Women International
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Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 737-7705
Women for Women International works to assist victims of rape and violence in Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, and Nigeria.
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