Freedom and Fear in Myanmar Our World

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Freedom and Fear in Myanmar

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.