December 29, 2013
Latest media reports show Rohingya women are forced into prostitution and sexual slavery at military bases across the Southeast Asian country.
The reports say Myanmar’s security forces kidnap Rohingya women and girls and put them to forced labor and prostitution in military bases.
“The women have been beaten, drugged, and sexually assaulted by men wearing army fatigues,” media outlets quoted witnesses as saying.
The Muslim minority in Myanmar continues to face increasing persecution and hardship. They have no social status in Myanmar as the government denies them citizenship rights.
Those who flee Myanmar to neighboring countries, including Thailand, in hope of a better future face similar risks.
International bodies and human rights organizations accuse the government of turning a blind eye to the violence against Rohingya women.
The United Nations recognizes the Rohingya Muslims living in Myanmar’s Rakhine state as one of the world’s most persecuted communities.
The developments come after dozens of Muslims were killed in recent attacks by Buddhist extremists in Myanmar as a new wave of ethnic and sectarian violence targeted Rohingya Muslims in the troubled State.
Last year, Rakhine saw a wave of violence against the Muslim community that left hundreds of people dead.
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar account for about five percent of the country’s population of nearly 60 million. They have been persecuted and faced torture, neglect, and repression since the country’s independence in 1948.
Myanmar government has been repeatedly criticized for failing to protect the Rohingya Muslims.