HAF Condemns Killing and Forced Conversion of Hindus by Militants in Myanmar

Washington, DC (September 27, 2017) — Hindu American Foundation leaders said they were deeply disturbed by reports that a mass grave containing the bodies of 28 murdered Hindus had been discovered in conflict-wracked Rakhine state in Myanmar. Equally disturbing they said were media reports that there were likely more mass graves yet to be discovered, as the recently-discovered dead appeared to be from a group of 100 Hindus attacked on August 25th, by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army — a militant group run by Rohingya émigrés in Saudi Arabia.

HAF condemned the killings, as well as the reported forced conversion of the handful of women who survived the attack and were taken by militants to Bangladesh.

“We urge an open and transparent investigation into these killings,” said Samir Kalra, HAF Senior Director and author of Hindus in South Asia & the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2017. “The international community and the government of Myanmar must work together towards a peaceful solution to this complex conflict — one which upholds the rights of civilians of all communities involved.”

In the past month, some 420,000 people have fled from Myanmar into Bangladesh, fleeing from a government crackdown on ASRA militants which resulted in some 200 Rohingya villages burned.

Kalra added, “HAF is in direct contact with sources in Bangladesh who are monitoring the condition of camps where Hindu refugees from Myanmar are staying. Their accounts are corroborating the media reports thus far regarding the violence against Hindus in the Rakhine region.”