Seven Myanmar soldiers have been sentenced to prison for their involvement in the massacre of 10 Rohingya men in Rakhine state last September, the army said on Tuesday.
The military said in a statement that seven soldiers were “sentenced to 10 years with hard labour at a prison in a remote area” for “contributing and participating in murder”.
It added that legal proceedings against the police personnel and civilians “involved in the crime” are still under way.
Earlier this year, Myanmar admitted for the first time its soldiers committed atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.
More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after the military launched a brutal crackdown on the ethnic minority in August last year.
Two journalists from Reuters news agency are facing trial for reporting the massacre carried out in the northern Rakhine village of Inn Din.
On Tuesday, the Myanmar government announced that the charges against the two journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe will proceed.
The two journalists have been under detention since December, and they face up to 14 years in jail on charges of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act. The detentions have been denounced by rights groups and journalists organisations as an attack on press freedom.
The Rohingya men were buried in a mass grave in early September after being hacked to death or shot by Buddhist neighbours and soldiers. Reuters published its story on the murder in February.
Rohingya and rights groups have accused the army of committing crimes against humanity and genocide. The army has been accused of committing murder, rape, arson and looting, that was unleashed in response to Rohingya armed attacks on security forces.
The United Nations and the United States described it as ethnic cleansing – an accusation which Myanmar denies.[source: Al Jazeera]
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