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New video shows Myanmar soldiers confessing to mass murder

September 10, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Two Myanmar military deserters say they were ordered to take part in the indiscriminate mass killing and rape of Rohingya Muslims in 2017, a human rights group claims, in video confessions which correspond with individual accounts given by survivors of the alleged atrocities.

(CNN)Two Myanmar military deserters say they were ordered to take part in the indiscriminate mass killing and rape of Rohingya Muslims in 2017, a human rights group claims, in video confessions which correspond with individual accounts given by survivors of the alleged atrocities.

The video confessions of Private Myo Win Tun and Private Zaw Naing Tun were filmed in July by the Arakan Army, a rebel group currently in combat with the Myanmar military, and released by the non-government organization Fortify Rights, which says it has analyzed the footage and found it to be credible.

From 2016, there have been reports of a campaign of mass violence by Myanmar's military in the country's Western Rakhine state, specifically targeting the Muslim minority Rohingya.

Myo Win Tun said that he was sent on a night raid of a Muslim village in Buthidaung Township in August 2017, where officers told him to kill everyone in order to ensure that the Rohingya "race will be exterminated. "

In Zaw Naing Tun's video, he admitted to working with the 353th Light Infantry Battalion to wipe out "about 20 Muslim villages. " "We shot dead and wiped them out according to the order to kill all, irrespective of children or adults," he said in the video.

Fortify Rights said that it believes the two soldiers from the videos are now in the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Dutch city of The Hague, potentially opening the possibility for their testimony to be used in a future case against the Myanmar government.

"The ICC investigation is a confidential matter, all I can confirm is that two individuals appeared at a border post in Bangladesh, requested protection and confessed to mass murder and rape of Rohingya civilians during the 2017 clearance operations in Rakhine State," said Payam Akhavan, International legal counsel for Bangladesh and a former UN prosecutor.

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