Amnesty says Myanmar killed 100s of Rohingya

A Rohingya refugee girl who fled from Myanmar cries because she lost her mother as they make their way after crossing the border in Palang Khali, near Cox's Bazar Bangladesh, in this October 16, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Amnesty says Myanmar killed 100s of Rohingya

BANGKOK: Amnesty International says Myanmar security forces killed at least hundreds of people during a systematic campaign to expel Rohingya Muslims.
The human rights group interviewed more than 120 Rohingya who fled the violence for its report released Wednesday. More than 580,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when Myanmar security forces began a scorched-earth campaign against Rohingya villages. Myanmar’s government has said it was responding to attacks by Muslim insurgents, but the United Nations and others have said the response was disproportionate. Myanmar also denies that atrocities are taking place.
Amnesty said in its report that security forces surrounded villages, shot fleeing inhabitants and then set buildings alight, burning to death the elderly and others unable to flee. It said women and girls were raped in some villages.

Thousands more Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh where more than half a million others are already living in squalid and overcrowded camps to escape large-scale violence.
Witnesses say that a new wave of refugees started crossing the border over the weekend. Thousands of newcomers stretched for several kilometers near one border crossing Tuesday. Several said that they were stopped by Bangladeshi border guards and spent the night in muddy rice fields.
Local government administrator Mohammad Mikaruzzman said Tuesday that he heard that some 20,000 people have arrived since Sunday crossing the border on foot or by boat at several points. According to the UN some 537,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since violence erupted their Aug. 25.


One third of UN workers say sexually harassed in past two years

Updated 16 January 2019
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One third of UN workers say sexually harassed in past two years

  • The online survey was completed by 30,364 people from the United Nations and its agencies
  • More than half of those experienced sexual harassment said it happened in an office environment

UNITED NATIONS: One third of UN staff and contractors experienced sexual harassment in the past two years, according to a report released by the United Nations on Tuesday.
The online survey, carried out by Deloitte in November, was completed by 30,364 people from the United Nations and its agencies — just 17 percent of those eligible. In a letter to staff, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the response rate as “moderately low.”
“This tells me two things: first — that we still have a long way to go before we are able to fully and openly discuss sexual harassment; and second — that there may also be an ongoing sense of mistrust, perceptions of inaction and lack of accountability,” he wrote.
The survey comes amid the wider “Me Too” movement around the world against sexual harassment and assault.
According to the report, 21.7 percent of respondents said they were subjected to sexual stories or offensive jokes, 14.2 percent received offensive remarks about their appearance, body or sexual activities and 13 percent were targeted by unwelcome attempts to draw them into a discussion on sexual matters.
Some 10.9 percent said they were subjected to gestures or use of body language of a sexual nature, which embarrassed or offended them, and 10.1 percent were touched in way that made them feel uncomfortable.
More than half of those experienced sexual harassment said it happened in an office environment, while 17.1 percent said it happened at a work-related social event. Two out of three harassers were male, according to the survey.
Only one in three people said they took action after experiencing sexual harassment.
Guterres said the report contained “some sobering statistics and evidence of what needs to change to make a harassment-free workplace real for all of us.”
“As an organization founded on equality, dignity and human rights, we must lead by example and set the standard,” he said.
The United Nations has tried to increase transparency and strengthen how it deals with such accusations over the past few years after a string of sexual exploitation and abuse accusations against UN peacekeepers in Africa.
The head of the UN agency for HIV and AIDS is also stepping down in June, six months before his term ends, after an independent panel said that his “defective leadership” tolerated “a culture of harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power.”