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Myanmar has waged 'ethnic cleansing' against Rohingyas, says rights watchdog

Published on Apr 22, 2013 1:23 PM

BANGKOK (AFP) - Myanmar has waged "a campaign of ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya Muslims, a leading rights watchdog said on Monday, citing evidence of mass graves and forced displacement.

The Rohingya, who are denied citizenship by the country, have faced crimes against humanity including murder, persecution, deportation and forced transfer, New York-based Human Rights Watch said.

Myanmar officials, community leaders and Buddhist monks organised and encouraged mobs backed by state security forces to conduct coordinated attacks on Muslim villages in October in the western state of Rakhine, HRW said.

"The Burmese government engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya that continues today through the denial of aid and restrictions on movement," said HRW deputy Asia director Phil Robertson, using Myanmar's old name Burma.

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