Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit has obtained a cache of documents from Myanmar and beyond that reveal a picture of the oppression of the Southeast Asian country’s Rohingya people.
They also shed light on the inner-workings of the regime.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Taken together with files provided by the advocacy group Fortify Rights, the documents constitute strong evidence of a genocide perpetrated in Myanmar against the Rohingya people by the government, according to a report by Yale Law School and researchers at the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University, London.
The documents are presented below via Document Cloud both in their original format and with English translations. We have chosen to redact some of the documents in order to protect the identity of individuals for their own safety.
Al Jazeera has made several requests for comment to the Myanmar president’s office and government spokespeople but has not received any response.
The Treatment of the Rohingya
United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) document.
Leaked to Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, this document provides credible evidence that the violence in 2012 was pre-planned by police and security services. It also says that women were raped and retributive torture was taking place in the aftermath.
Removal of Médecins Sans Frontières
This letter records a presidential request to remove Médecins Sans Frontières from operating in northern Rakhine State. The charity was expelled due to a report sent to the Rakhine Health Ministry on the killing of more than 50 Rohingya in the village of Du Chay Ardan. This letter falls under the Home Minister, showing that the highest authorities in Naypyidaw were responsible for this decision.
An example of the restrictions placed on Muslims, in this case travelling on a road between Tangoup and Yangon. According to Penny Smith from the State Crime Initiative at London University, this is evidence of a ‘policy of apartheid’.
Na Sa Ka training manual
In use between 1993-2008, this manual for the Border Security Force, or Na Sa Ka, was the first written evidence of discriminatory policies against Rohingya and was released by Fortify Rights in 2013.
Presidential spokesman Facebook entry
This is a Facebook entry written by the President’s spokesman, Hmuu Zaw, as the trouble was flaring in Rakhine State. The events described did not occur, but the post was enough to trigger widespread fear of an invasion.
Rakhine submission to Myanmar Parliament (no original)
Rakhine nationalists submit their demands for the ‘development’ of the state. The Rohingya are simply considered illegal immigrants. The document was seen and sanctioned by Shwe Mann, the then Speaker of the Parliament. Provided by Fortify Rights 2014.
Resolutions at RNDP meeting held before the October 2012 violence
The resolutions include demands to control the birth rate of the Rohingya and to oppose all media that uses the term ‘Rohingya’. Many of these objectives have been achieved with the support of central government.
Rakhine Action Plan
Confidential document obtained by Fortify Rights outlining Rakhine State’s plans for dealing with the Rohingya population. While still in a draft stage, the proposals indicate increasing attempts to monitor and isolate the Rohingya population.
Evidence of covert policies by the Myanmar Government to create rifts and sow confusion
1988 Secret Order
A secret Myanmar document issued at the height of the 1988 uprising. The document indicates the willing of the Military Intelligence to indulge in activities likely to confuse the public.
Wikileaks U.S. Cable
This secret cable, now in the public domain through WikiLeaks, provides evidence of the government creating rifts between Muslims and Buddhists in 2005. It can be found online at the WikiLeaks website:
Tanchanpe Mosque memo
This memo, obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, was circulated at township level saying that Muslims from a Jamiat Tabligue mosque in Yangon were planning riots and rape – and would then blame Buddhists. It was signed by the Chief Minister of State and sent to township administrators. No riots occurred and we took the document to mosque elders .
Letter claiming ‘terror’ threat from Rohingya
A telegram claiming that Rohingya militants were planning explosions and attacks in July 2015. There were no incidents on that day.
Evidence of discriminatory state policies toward Muslims in Myanmar
Kachin State Religious Affairs
Confidential documents from the northern state of Kachin obtained by Al Jazeera. They reveal how state authorities monitor an individual planning to build a mosque. Copies went to the capital, Naypyidaw.
Military PowerPoint presentation shown at officer training school
This is a slide presentation for use in training cadets about Muslims. It suggests institutional Islamophobia and fear mongering and uses the derogatory term kowtow kalars to describe Muslims.