For Our World, Jonah Fisher investigates allegations of mass murder and rape among Myanmar's displaced Rohingya minority.
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For the last five months, we've been receiving graphic video
from a part of Myanmar that is closed to the outside world.
The Burmese government wants to keep what's happening secret.
The United Nations gives us their devastating statement. This is a
country emerging from decades of military rule but we meet those who
have been left behind in the 21st century Muslim ghetto. What would
happen if you went out that gate? And we asked whether Myanmar's
democracy icon has sacrificed her principles.
November 2016, thousands of Rohingya minority are fleeing. They have been
called the world 's most wanted people. In Myanmar they are denied
citizenship and the most basic human rights. They are escaping a
conflict. This group killed nine officers and seize guns and
ammunition. These distressing images so a glimpse of the states response.
They called it clearance operation. Civilians as well as militants have
been targeted. Unable to reach the conflict area in Myanmar, we are
across the border in Bangladesh were 70,000 Rohingya have fled over the
past five months. Mohamed arrived here three months
ago and he agrees to take us back to the banks were so Rohingya many have
crossed into Bangladesh. When the gunfire started, he wanted
to help is 75 year-old father escape. -- his. His village was soon
on fire. All our smart phones footage has been given to us by a
group who has been meticulously documenting events and verifying
video. The government except at least 25 people died here but claim
Rohingya have been torching their homes across the area. Later Mohamed
returned to look for his father. He tells us he is father's body is
among the charred remains. -- he believes.
A year ago Durmisi history had seemed set on a different path.
Released from house arrest, National Haram and democracy icon had secured
election victory. Overnight, decades of brutal rule came to a remarkably
peaceful end. The world 's hopes were high both four Aung San Suu Kyi
and fork Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi now spends most of her time in the
capital but when I first moved here three years ago, I went to see her a
number of times in her house, a place made famous because that is
where she spent so many years under house arrest. It was from above
these gates of that Aung San Suu Kyi would speak out against the military
leaders, in speeches about human rights. Around the world, Aung San
Suu Kyi became famous for her principled resistance against the
general. I was a prisoner but I felt I was free because I was fighting.
The only real freedom is freedom from fear. But her hard-won freedom
and power have her limits. Despite her election win, the generals have
refused to hand over control of security forces and other
ministries. On the flight of the Rohingya Aung San Suu Kyi has been
noticeably silent. In Bangladesh, in this camp, this woman is fearing for
her daughter 's life. Two months ago Burmese soldiers came to a village
and started rounding up Rohingya children.
Do you know where your daughter is now?
Since October, the UN and human rights groups have reported hundreds
of cases of murder, rape and abduction. Under international
pressure to do something, Aung San Suu Kyi set up an investigation
team. There are Rohingya no in it and it is led by the Vice President
and a former general. Its work is being criticised by the United
Nations. Investigators are interviewing Rohingya a woman who is
telling them how she saw a woman forced into the bushes by soldiers.
It was broadcast on state TV as proof no rape was taking place.
Months later we tracked her down, now in a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
She told us she had spoken freely to the government investigation after
being promised that she would face no reprisal.
She told us she had yet to recover from what the soldiers did to her
back in Myanmar. But what of the countries the
leader? What you think of unsung Suu Chi now? -- Aung San Suu Kyi. The
Burmese authorities have refused the outside world inside the effect that
part of Myanmar but they cannot stop the refugees talking. A UN person
told me she was shot. Definite crimes against humanity. Committed
by the Bernie 's army against Rohingya the? Border guards, police,
security forces. Crimes against humanity, obviously very serious.
How much responsibility should Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi,
bet for this? At the end of the day it is the civilian government that
has the answer and respond to these massive cases of horrific torture
and very inhumane crimes they have committed against their own people.
These crimes took place in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Closes we can get is
at the town of Sittwe. It is to be a mixed town with wood is and Rohingya
Muslims living side by side now the once busy Central Mosque lays
abandoned. It has been that way since 2012 when Rakhine state saw
weeks of violence between the Muslims and Buddhists. The
government stood by as Rohingya were forced from their homes and out of
Sittwe. On the street and the shops it is hard to find anyone with much
sympathy for their Rohingya departed neighbours. Many see them as illegal
immigrants who belonged in angle at Esh. -- in Bangladesh.
Do you see a day when the Rohingya will come back here and the Buddhist
and the Rohingya will live side-by-side? -- Buddhists? What is
the solution to the problems here? There is one small community of
Rohingya who refuse to leave. Checkpoints mark the entrance to
this town, a Muslim ghetto. This is Myanmar's version of apartheid,
almost 4000 Rohingya Livia. It is an island surrounded on all sides by
Buddhist homes. Defence and the police keep the two communities
apart. -- the fence. We are met by a Rohingya community leader. Moments
later, we had company. Police? Are you from the police? Do
you mind leaving us alone? Are the secret police always inside the
camp? Really? What would happen if you
went out that date? -- date? Beaten by who? Every other day, their's a
list given to the police, and then those people on the list are allowed
to leave. There is an escort organised by the police to protect
the Rohingya when they go out, so they don't get attacked -- there's.
We go to meet for prayers. There have been Muslims living in this
state for centuries. This mosque dates back almost 140 years.
When slipway burnt in 2012, the leader was among the Rohingya who
stood their ground and refused to leave -- Sittwe. Were you expecting
Aung San Suu Kyi to be more sympathetic to the plight of the
Rohingya? Aung San Suu Kyi has never visited a
Rohingya camp, but she has tried to reach out to Myanmar's other ethnic
minorities. We followed her to the east of the country, we had claimed
touched down at the airport. Somewhere down there is Aung San Suu
Kyi. -- where the plane. She has not yet given a proper press conference.
Not since winning the election 16 months ago. 16, 17, 18... Still
coming. All of those cars belong to Aung San Suu Kyi's procession. Very
much at arms length. For the last year or so, journalists have not
really heard from her. Very difficult to get to her, speak to
her or ask her about what has been going on. She is not someone who
seems to enjoy being questioned. In a cafe in this town, I meet someone
who is also trying to get a word with Aung San Suu Kyi. She has to do
something to stop the violence in the fighting. She didn't say
anything. This woman has spent her entire life documenting abuses
against women from her ethnic group, the Sham. She tells me that reports
of Burmese atrocities against the Rohingya are chillingly familiar.
They told the troops, you can do whatever you like. They can kill
anybody, they can rate anybody, they can burn things. It is a political
rape. You rape the woman, it means that you rape the whole ethnicity --
rape. Of course, this is not news to Aung San Suu Kyi. We watched a
speech shortly after she left house arrest. Rape is used in my country
as a weapon by armed forces to intimidate the ethnic nationalities
and to divide our country. So, we must do everything we can to protect
them from this. Just up the road, crowds are
gathering for each and to see Aung San Suu Kyi. It's's union Day, a big
event in the national calendar. The government recognises more than 100
different ethnic groups. But Burmese history has been dominated by the
largest, the Burmans, who make up two thirds of the population. It has
left minorities fighting rebel wants to try and get their voices heard.
The 1 million Rohingya in Myanmar are not recognised as an ethnic
group, so they have not been invited. Waiting among the crowd is
our same woman. She hopes this will be a chance to speak to Aung San Suu
Kyi. Rake the silence! It is unclear whether Aung San Suu Kyi hears. --
break. She loves the institutions. The army? Yes. Now it is a fear of
freedom. Aung San Suu Kyi sit silently with the generals. She
knows she needs their support if she is to deliver her biggest policy
goal. A nationwide peace agreement. Aung San Suu Kyi tells the crowd
what they already know, the country is suffering from disunity and
conflict. Then, the Nobel peace Prize winner makes her plea to the
nation. -- Peace. For all the talk, Aung San Suu Kyi's peace plan is not
going very well. Ethnic groups think she is too close to the army, and
the last year has seen an increase in fighting. Since coming to power,
all our requests to speak to her have been rejected. There was time
for one last desperate trying. -- try. Aung San Suu Kyi, BBC, just a
question please. You have been accused of committing crimes against
humanity, do you have any response to that? Miss Suu Kyi? She goes off
in the bubble, with her advisers. She does not like people putting
questions to her. I'm willing to talk, we instead met up with one of
the oldest allies. -- her. We asked why a Miss Suu Kyi is not speaking
out -- why Miss Suu Kyi. You think the criticism that has levelled
against Aung San Suu Kyi, particularly regarding the Rohingya,
you think that is unfair? She couldn't do anything if she wanted
to to stop the abuses? It is a serious problem. The UN has
that may be crimes against humanity are taking place -- the UN has said
that crimes against humanity may be taking place. Against the Rohingya,
for example? Hundreds of them have been killed, that is why we are
discussing the issue. For most Burmese, life in the last
few years has certainly changed for the better. But the Rohingya and all
those who are still being abused by the Burmese army are still waiting,
and hope is fading. So far, the price of power for Aung San Suu Kyi
has been silence. On principles and values that she wants held so --
once held so dear. I think Saturday is looking
like being the better day, the dry day of the two for most
places, as we will have a weather front bringing wet weather
to initially Northern
For Our World, Jonah Fisher investigates allegations of mass murder and rape among Myanmar's displaced Rohingya minority. He asks why Burmese leader and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has failed to stop what the UN is calling crimes against humanity.