Myanmar security forces raped Rohingya women and girls as young as 13 in a sweeping and methodical process, The Associated Press said in a report with the Pulitzer Center in Crisis Reporting.
The group spoke with 29 women and girls from Rakhine state in Myanmar, also known as Burma, who are now staying at refugee camps in Bangladesh. All of the women, except one, said their attackers wore military-style uniforms. The other woman, whose attackers wore plain clothes, said her neighbors recognized them from the local military outpost. Several women detailed how the security officials slaughtered their children in front of them and shot their husbands before raping them.
Rohingya militants in August attacked Myanmar security forces in Rakhine state, and government forces responded with what the United Nations termed “ethnic cleansing.” The military has so far denied the accusations. An internal military investigation into the rape allegations last month concluded none of the assaults occurred.
One of the women, identified only as F, narrated how the security forces raped her in front of her husband of one month before shooting him. They continued to rape her before dragging her outside and burning down her house. The 22-year-old woman became pregnant and moved in with her neighbors. Three months later, two security officials raped her again. In another case, four security officials raped a nine-months pregnant woman. The women narrated how they walked in searing pain to Bangladesh, where only a few of them received treatment.
F said she believes God kept her and her baby alive for a reason. “If I give this baby away, what will I have left,” she said. “There will be nothing to live for.” —O.O.