Authorities in Myanmar have robbed, abducted and deliberately starved Rohingya men, women and children, in an effort to make life “so intolerable” for members of the minority group that they will leave the country, Amnesty International says.
In a briefing released on Wednesday, the human rights group alleged that “ethnic cleansing continues” against the Rohingya, nearly 690,000 of whom have fled Myanmar since the state launched a violent crackdown in northern Rakhine state last August.
Security forces have robbed Rohingya families at checkpoints as they attempted to flee to Bangladesh and abducted women and girls from their villages, prompting others to leave in fear, Amnesty reported.
However, the Rohingya said the main reason they continue to flee the country is a shortage of food.
“We weren’t able to get food, that’s why we fled,” Dildar Begum, 30, from a village near the town of Buthidaung in Rakhine state, told Amnesty International.
The food shortage has been caused in large part by the actions of Myanmar’s security forces, who are blocking Rohingya from accessing their rice fields, markets and humanitarian aid, Amnesty said.