Attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on dozens of police stations have been widely reported as triggering a crackdown by Myanmar security forces that drove nearly 700,000 ethnic Rohingya into neighboring Bangladesh and widely depicted as ethnic cleansing. But the report likely marks the first indication that ARSA also committed atrocities.
"It’s hard to ignore the sheer brutality of ARSA’s actions, which have left an indelible impression on the survivors we’ve spoken to," Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Director Tirana Hassan said in the report on Tuesday. "Accountability for these atrocities is every bit as crucial as it is for the crimes against humanity carried out by Myanmar’s security forces in northern Rakhine State."
"They robbed, bound, and blindfolded them before marching them to the outskirts of the village, where they separated the men from the women and young children," the report said. "A few hours later, the ARSA fighters killed 53 of the Hindus, execution-style, starting with the men."
A second massacre up to 99 Hindu women, men, and children may also have taken place, the report noted. Amnesty International said it based its report on interviews with survivors at refugee camps in Bangladesh as well as meetings with surviving victims inside Myanmar.