Seven Myanmar soldiers sentenced for Rohingya killings

Seven Myanmar soldiers have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for participating in a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslim men last year 

(Photo: BBC)
(Photo: BBC)

Seven Myanmar soldiers have been sentenced to 10 years in prison “with hard labour in a remote area” for participating in a massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslim men last year.

In a statement, the military said the soldiers have had “action taken against them” for “contributing and participating in murder”

The soldiers killed 10 Rojingya muslin men in a village in north-western Rakhine state last September. The massacre was being investigated by two Reuters journalists – Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28 – who were subsequently arrested in December and are still behind bars facing charges of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act.

On Wednesday, a court in Myanmar rejected an application to dismiss the case against the journalists.

The army admitted for the first time earlier this year that its soldiers were involved in the killings. Four officers and three non-officers were found guilty in a military court for their part in the killings in the village of Inn Din, according to the statement posted on the army's Facebook page.

The Rohingya men from the northern Rakhine village of Inn Din were buried in a mass grave in early September after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbours and soldiers.

The murders were part of a larger army crackdown on the Rohingya, beset by allegations of murder, rape, arson and looting, unleashed in response to Rohingya militant attacks on security forces in late August. The United Nations and the United States have described it as ethnic cleansing – an accusation Myanmar denies.

On 10 January, the military said the 10 Rohingya men belonged to a group of 200 militants who had attacked security forces. Buddhist villagers attacked some of them with swords and soldiers shot the others dead, the military had said.

The military’s version of events is contradicted by accounts by Rakhine Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have crossed into southern Bangladesh since August, creating one of the world’s largest refugee camps.

More in World

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe