Mon, Feb 20, 2017 | updated 11:41 AM IST

Dozens of Muslim women reportedly raped in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State

Updated: Oct 27, 2016 18:56 IST

Naypyidaw [Myanmar], Oct. 27 (ANI): Human rights groups have alleged that dozens of Muslim women have been raped by state security forces in the northern Rakhine State during counter-insurgency operations there.

Around 30 women were reportedly raped by security forces in a single village on October 19, according to Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, a Rohingya rights organisation.

Tight military controls in the region, including shutting out international humanitarian organisations, means independent verification has not been possible, reports the Myanmar Times.

Lewa said she had also received additional reports of five girls aged between 16 and 18 being raped in another village on October 25 and two women at another location on October 20.

On October 25, the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) released a statement saying it was "extremely concerned" over at least 10 alleged rape cases that had been documented by civilians in Maungdaw township since the military operation had begun there, including one woman who was three months pregnant and later suffered a miscarriage.

"The Burmese government is deliberately violating international law and committing crimes that it promised the world they would refrain from," said U Kyaw Win of the BHRN, referring to the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The reports of widespread sexual assaults come as security forces in the area hunt for those behind three deadly attacks on border police posts on October 9, believed to have been carried out by Rohingya insurgents.

A large swathe of northern Rakhine State has been under military lockdown since the October 9 attacks, with local residents reporting extrajudicial killings, torture, large-scale evictions, and the burning and looting of property.

International groups including the UN and INGOs have demanded that the government allow an independent investigation into the series of alleged human rights violations emerging from northern Rakhine State.

Authorities have, however, denied that rights abuses are being perpetrated,

Women's rights organisations have published numerous reports detailing incidents of sexual assault and rape by the Tatmadaw, particularly in ethnic minority areas.

Under the 2008 constitution members of the military have impunity for such crimes, something rights organisations have long demanded should be changed.

"The Tatmadaw have a long and well-documented history of sexually abusing women in areas where they operate. The question is what is [State Counsellor Daw] Aung San Suu Kyi and the government of Burma prepared to do about it because this is a real test of their political commitment to respect rights," said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division. (ANI)

Vadodara (Gujarat) [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): Baloch leader Mazdak Dilshad who was in Gujarat's Vadodara on Sunday, asserted that Baloch people are awaiting the support of the international community in connection to their human rights' violation and mass genocide by the Pakistani Army.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb. 20 (ANI): The Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), a major separatist political party in Sindh, Pakistan, has given a call of strike across the province against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) today.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20(ANI): India has sanctioned a soft loan of 340 million US dollar to Nepal for various infrastructure development programmes.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 20(ANI): The United States deployed the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the disputed waters of the South China Sea on Saturday as part of maritime "routine operations."

Full Story >>

New York [USA] , Feb. 20(ANI): China says it will halt all coal imports from North Korea from Sunday for the rest of 2017, amid growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula following Pyongyang's most recent missile test last week.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 20(ANI): Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned down a regional peace initiative last year that was brokered by then-American Secretary of State John Kerry, in apparent contradiction to his stated goal of involving regional Arab powers in resolving Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

Full Story >>

Rawalpindi [Pakistan], Feb. 20(ANI): The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) carried out air strikes in the border area of North Waziristan Agency on terrorist positions, said a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Full Story >>

Bomb explodes near Bogota bullring in Colombia

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 06:13 IST

New York [USA], Feb. 20(ANI) : An explosion near the Santamaria bullfighting ring in downtown Bogota, Colombia, injured at least 31 people.

Full Story >>

Berlin[Germany], Feb. 20(ANI): At least 20 people were killed and more than 50 got injured when a bomb went off at a market in western Mogadishu on Sunday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 20(ANI):In reference to his "what's happening in Sweden" remark, U.S. President Donald Trump came out to defend his statement on Twitter.

Full Story >>

Kigali [Rwanda], Feb. 20 (ANI): In order to enhance the bilateral ties with Indian diaspora settled in Rwanda, India is all set to open its resident mission in the country's capital.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Feb. 20(ANI): The Swedish Embassy in Washington has contacted the White House asking for clarification over U.S. President Donald Trump's comments suggesting a terrorist incident had occurred on Friday night in Sweden.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.A.], Feb. 20 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump's reference to "what's happening last night in Sweden" during a rally in Florida raised questions in Sweden and over the internet about what he really meant.

Full Story >>

Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb. 19 (ANI): Kabul will use all means to respond against Pakistan if it did not stop rocket attacks on Afghanistan soil, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) warned on Sunday.

Full Story >>

Moscow [Russia], Feb. 19 (ANI): A critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was hospitalised this month after suspected poisoning, on Sunday left the country to seek further treatment, according to his lawyer.

Full Story >>

Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb. 19 (ANI): Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said that the Taliban office in Qatar should be closed if the group pursues violence.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.A.], Feb. 19 (ANI): Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday announced that Iraq has launched an operation to regain control of western Mosul from the Islamic State militants.

Full Story >>

China, Britain hold second security dialogue

Updated: Feb 19, 2017 21:11 IST

London [U.K.], Feb. 19 (ANI): China and Britain held their second high-level security dialogue in London where both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in security and law enforcement.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 19 (ANI): Even as many criticised him for holding the urgent discussion over North Korea's missile test with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the patio at Mar-a-Lago as other diners looked on freely, U. S. President Donald Trump continues to hold business at his Florida resort.

Full Story >>