MYANMAR’S government has pledged that soldiers and police suspected of being involved in the massacre of 10 Muslim villagers will face prosecution.
Spokesman Zaw Htay said yesterday that “action according to the law” would be taken against seven soldiers, three police and six villagers.
But he would not say what kind of action, and he also denied that the prosecutions had anything to do with an investigation by Reuters journalists who have been locked up for their reporting.
The 10 men were found buried in a mass grave in the village of Inn Din after having been hacked to death by their neighbours or shot by Myanmar security forces during the bloodbath in early September.
The military has attempted to spin the story for its own ends. When it finally admitted in January that its troops were involved, it claimed the dead men were part of a group of 200 terrorists, and that they forced the soldiers and villagers to kill them.
That account is, however, contradicted by the story told to reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo by both Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim witnesses.
Those witnesses say that there was no attack by insurgents, and that soldiers just picked the 10 from hundreds of women, men and children who had sought refuge on a nearby beach.
Myanmar citizens Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo both face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act — a hangover from British colonial control of the country — for allegedly obtaining government documents. They could be jailed for 14 years if convicted.
Almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar, which denies them citizenship, since the military began a bloody military crackdown against them in August.
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