Myanmar building security structures atop Rohingya land - Amnesty

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They say satellite images show Rohingya villages are being bulldozed to make way for military bases. Myanmar military soldiers are accused of executions, rapes and burning villages as a response to attacks on security outposts by Rohingya insurgents.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh since Myanmar launched a crackdown on insurgents six months ago.

Myanmar's government, which argues that the operations were a legitimate response to attacks by Rohingya militants, has requested " clear evidence" that atrocities have occurred. "As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media", he said.

Myanmar is building security installations on top of razed Rohingya villages, Amnesty International said on Monday, March 12, casting doubt on plans to repatriate hundreds of thousands of refugees.

"The bulldozing of entire villages is incredibly worrying", said Tirana Hassan of Amnesty International.

Through a series of on-the-ground interviews and an analysis of satellite images, the human-rights group learned that former Rohingya villages-some of which had been burned to the ground-are now the site of new construction, including new roads and infrastructure for the military. "No one wants to stay because they are afraid of more violence against them", said a 31-year-old man who fled to Bangladesh in January when the military erected a new fence and security post close to his village.

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"I am becoming more convinced that the crimes committed following 9 October 2016 and 25 August 2017 bear the hallmarks of genocide, and call in the strongest terms for accountability", she said.

Lee, who was speaking to the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, also called for a body to be set up at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, where most Rohingya have sought refuge, to compile evidence of human rights abuses in Myanmar.

The images are published as the United Nations said almost $1 billion (pounds 721 million) will be needed this year in global aid for Rohingya refugees living in overcrowded camps in southeastern Bangladesh. "Not only are their homes gone, but the new construction is entrenching the already dehumanizing discrimination they have faced in Myanmar".

Meanwhile, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, sees growing evidence to suspect genocide has been committed in Rakhine State against the ethnic Rohingya population.

In December past year Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, also suggested that genocide may have been committed against the Rohingya.

Myanmar has denied all accusations and reports alleging the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya.