Myanmar detains 173 fleeing Rohingya
Myanmar detained 173 Rohingya Muslims on a boat off the southern coast, authorities said on Tuesday, amid signs that more members of the minority group are making perilous sea voyages to escape persecution.
The navy seized the vessel carrying the group, including 22 children, off the coast of Tanintharyi Division’s Kawthaung township on Sunday, military spokesman Tun Tun Nyi said.
“Our navy found them on a suspicious boat in the sea,” he told Reuters by phone. “The police will proceed according to the law.”
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in 2017 to escape a military-led crackdown that UN investigators have said was carried out with “genocidal intent” and included mass killings and rapes.
Myanmar has denied widespread atrocities, framing the violence as a response to attacks by Rohingya militants, but has acknowledged killings at Inn Din village, where soldiers and Buddhist villagers murdered 10 Muslim men, as well as in another village, Gu Dar Pyin. Myanmar has also denied persecution.
Some 600,000 Rohingya remain in largely Buddhist Myanmar, confined to camps and villages in the western Rakhine state where they are unable to travel freely.