Witness to Horror: Rohingya women speak out about Myanmar army rape and other atrocities in Maungdaw

Jan 20, 2017

This report comprises testimony of twenty-one Rohingya women who have fled to Bangladesh to escape Myanmar Army “clearance operations” in Maungdaw since October 9, 2016. The women, from nine villages targeted during the operations, share similar experiences of how large numbers of Myanmar troops, with Border Guard Police and local paramilitary forces, surrounded and entered their villages, indiscriminately torturing and killing men, women and children, and burning down houses. Almost all the women lost their husbands in the crackdown.

Most are missing, feared dead. Three of their husbands were killed in massacres of up to forty men; one saw her husband and two young sons shot dead with thirty other men. Another woman saw soldiers shoot her husband dead by firing into his anus. Only one of the husbands had managed to flee to Bangladesh, but he had been severely tortured, with his testicles burned. Eleven of the women lost their children during the attacks. One had her one-year-old baby pulled from her arms and thrown into her burning house. Another woman saw her seven year-old son deliberately stamped to death. Another found her baby’s dead body on the ground with his throat cut. Fifteen women, from eight villages, personally experienced or witnessed sexual violence by Myanmar Army and paramilitary troops during the recent security operations, providing evidence that at least 70 women and girls have been raped. Most of the rape incidents took place when women were gathered at gunpoint in large groups outside their villages during security operations in Kyar Goung Taung, Yae Khat Chaung Gwa Son, and Kyet Yoe Pyin.Groups of soldiers pulled young women away from the others and took them to be raped in nearby houses, fields or forest

One woman found the mutilated body of her 20-year-old sister in her house in Laung Don after a Myanmar military raid. Her breasts had been cut off, a gun barrel stuck in her vagina, and the body of her newborn baby, who had been stamped to death, left on her chest. Another woman found the naked bodies of five of her neighbours in the forest near Laung Don. One had been beheaded, and another tied up to trees, her legs splayed. Soldiers also subjected large numbers of women to sexually humiliating treatment during security raids. Women described how their breasts and groin were groped by soldiers during body searches. Groups of women forced out into fields near their villages were forced to strip down to their underwear or completely naked, and stand for long periods in the hot sun.

Ten of the women interviewed had been personally robbed of their valuables, with soldiers pulling their gold earrings, necklaces and nose studs from their bodies. Fifteen of the interviewees had seen their houses burned down by the Myanmar troops. Despite directly experiencing atrocities at the hands of the Myanmar military, villagers have been forced to deny that the Myanmar troops committed these crimes. A woman whose house was burned down was rounded up with other villagers in front of hundreds of armed soldiers at the police station in Kyet Yoe Pyin, and forced to declare in front of a video camera that it was the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) who had burned their houses and killed their parents and children. The similarity of the testimony provided by women from different villages show a clear pattern of grave violations by the Myanmar military against civilians on a widespread scale, indicating that the abuses are being committed systematically, with full command responsibility.

This document was published by Kaladan Press Network (KPN). we find it important to translate this into Bengali Language. This research was translated into Bangali Language by Hussain Ahmed and we have supported it to be published.