World Bulletin / News Desk
The clip -- taken by a Myanmar policeman, which has gone viral on social media -- shows a large group of Rohingya (some of them boys) forced to sit on the ground with their hands on their heads as they are beaten and kicked by police during a search operation in Koe Tan Kauk village in Rakhine State's northern Maungdaw district Nov. 5.
In a rare admission of abuse against the stateless minority, the Myanmar Police Force announced Friday that three officers who lead the village raid, one officer who took the video and four identified as participating in the beatings had been detained and action taken against them in accordance with the law.
The statement offered no further information as to exactly what charges were laid or penalties set.
Maungdaw has been under strict military control since Oct. 9 when a gang killed nine border police officials in an area close to Myanmar's western border with Bangladesh.
In a subsequent military clampdown, aid agencies and independent journalists were denied access to majority Rohingya areas, and at least 101 people -- 17 police and soldiers, eight Muslim men working closely with the local authority, and 76 alleged "attackers" (including six who reportedly died during interrogation) -- have now been killed and more than 600 people detained for alleged involvement.
Rohingya advocacy groups, however, claim around 400 Rohingya -- described by the United Nations as among the most persecuted groups worldwide -- were killed in the military operations, women were raped and more than 1,000 Rohingya villages torched.
The video offers the first visual evidence of the litany of abuses human rights groups have claimed have taken place against the long-persecuted Muslim minority in recent months.
In an email sent to Anadolu Agency last week, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director said that the truth of the situation is still to be fully revealed.
“We fear that it is really just the tip of the iceberg of the abuses being inflicted by government security forces and that much more is happening out of sight,” Phil Robertson said.