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Iran Press TV

UN Special Rapporteur visits Rohingya camps in Bangladesh

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:53PM

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar has visited Rohingya Muslims refugee camps in Bangladesh, where thousands of people have taken shelter after fleeing an ongoing persecution and military crackdown in Myanmar.

Yanghee Lee on Tuesday visited the camps in Cox's Bazar district, which borders Myanmar's Rakhine state.

Bangladesh Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Khaleda Begum, confirmed that the UN envoy was visiting the coastal district in the country's southeast.

"She (Lee) is now visiting the camps to talk to the refugees," media outlets quoted the spokeswoman as saying.

Lee had earlier held talks with government ministers in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

Speaking at a meeting with Lee in Dhaka on Monday, Bangladesh's Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali urged the international community to address Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya.

About 73,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled persecution and violence in Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh since the Myanmar army launched a crackdown in Rakhine in early October 2016.

Myanmar's military launched a fresh wave of crackdown on Muslims after a deadly attack on the country's border guards on October 9, 2016 left several policemen dead. The government blamed the Rohingya for the assault.

There have been numerous accounts by eyewitnesses of summary executions, rapes and arson attacks against Muslims since the crackdown began. The military has blocked access to Rakhine state and banned journalists and aid workers from entering the area.

The United Nations has warned that the ongoing human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine could amount to "crimes against humanity."

Rakhine has been the scene of communal violence at the hands of Buddhist extremists since 2012. Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands have been forced from their homes to live in squalid camps in dire conditions in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

According to the UN, Rohingya Muslims are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

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