Myanmar (HRNW): Seven Myanmar soldiers have been sentenced to prison for their involvement in the killings of 10 Rohingya Muslim men last year. The military said in a statement the soldiers will serve 10 years with hard labour for “contributing and participating in murder”. The army admitted for the first time earlier this year that its soldiers were involved in the killings. Myanmar has been accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing in Rakhine state. Four officers and three non-officers were found guilty in a military court for their part in the killings in the village of Inn Din, according to the statement posted on the army’s Facebook page.
The deaths were being investigated by two Reuters journalists who were subsequently arrested and are still being held in prison. On Wednesday, a court in Myanmar rejected an application to dismiss the case against the journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. More than 650,000 Rohingya have fled into neighbouring Bangladesh since violence erupted in Rakhine state last August, with terrible stories of mass murder, rape and torture. They accuse the military, backed by local Buddhist mobs, of burning their villages and attacking and killing civilians. Myanmar’s military has denied targeting civilians, and insists it is fighting only Rohingya militants.