UPDATE - Fresh Rohingya refugees arrive in Bangladeshi camps

UPDATE - Fresh Rohingya refugees arrive in Bangladeshi camps

UN warns of heightened risk of human trafficking for more than 800,000 Rohingya


By Canberk Yuksel

NEW YORK (AA) - The number of Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh in the past month has risen to 436,000, the UN said Monday.

Men, women and children fleeing atrocities by Myanmar security forces in the western state of Rakhine faced a “heightened risk” of falling victim to human trafficking, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said.

Rohingya have been targeted by what UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

They are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.

The call made by the UN's seven special rapporteurs working on human rights was appeared on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR).

Some UN experts on Tuesday also released a joint statement calling on Myanmar’s government to stop "all violence against the minority Muslim Rohingya community and halt the ongoing persecution and serious human rights violations".

Stating there had been credible allegations of serious human rights violations and abuses, the experts said Myanmar should provide "uninterrupted humanitarian access" to international organizations to assist internally displaced people.

The joint statement also claimed human rights violations included extrajudicial killings, excessive use of force, torture and ill-treatment, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced displacement, "as well as the burning and destruction of over 200 Rohingya villages and tens of thousands of homes".

According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

In total, more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees are now believed to be in Bangladesh.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised the issue with the UN.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

* Ilker Girit contributed to this story from Istanbul

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