U.S. Law Firm Finds Evidence of Rohingya Genocide in Myanmar

(Bloomberg) -- A law firm tasked by the U.S. State Department to probe Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya ethnic minority said it found evidence of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Public International Law and Policy Group called for an "accountability mechanism" to be set up urgently, or for the situation to be referred to the International Criminal Court. The Washington-based group found evidence of violations including murders, willful killings, enslavement, rapes, torture, looting and destruction of civilian property.

More than 700,000 Rohingya fled their homes for refugee camps in Bangladesh after Myanmar security forces last year started what they called "clearance operations" in response to militant attacks. The United Nations has previously said the operations involved systematic murder, torture and rape, as well as the enslavement of civilian members of the minority.

The crackdown led to global criticism of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was held under house arrest for more than a decade before her release and election victory in 2015.

The law firm’s investigation was based on more than 15,000 pages of documents from 1,024 interviews with Rohingya refugees who fled violence in Rakhine State. Nearly 70 percent witnessed the killing of a family member, friend or acquaintance.

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