Military’s Use of Rape for Ethnic Cleansing
— Skye Wheeler (@WheelerSkye) October 15, 2017
Skye Wheeler, emergencies researcher for the Women’s Rights Division, has been documenting rape survivors’ stories in the Rohingya refugee camps. “The Burmese military has clearly used rape as one of a range of horrific methods of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya,” she told Reuters. “Rape and other forms of sexual violence has been widespread and systematic as well as brutal, humiliating, and traumatic.”
In early September, Rakhine State minister for border security, Col. Phone Tint, denied reports of military abuses, specifically sexual violence. “Where is the proof?” he asked. “Look at those women who are making these claims – would anyone want to rape them?”
The military’s denials are not new. In December 2016, the Burmese government contested reports of the military’s use of sexual violence in a press release published under the headline, “Fake Rape.” Human Rights Watch and other groups documented widespread rape and other sexual violence by security forces during the military operations starting last October.