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Apr-21-2013 17:25printcommentsVideo

Burma Riots: Video Shows Police Failing to Stop Attack

The BBC has obtained police video showing officers standing by while Buddhist rioters attacked minority Muslims in the town of Meiktila.

Violence in Burma
BBC

(MEIKTILA, Burma BBC) - The footage shows a mob destroying a Muslim gold shop and then setting fire to houses. A man thought to be a Muslim is seen on fire.

It was filmed last month, when at least 43 people were killed in Meiktila.

The EU is expected to decide this week whether to lift sanctions it imposed on Burma over its repression of democracy.

It is thought likely that despite concerns about the treatment of minorities, Brussels will on Monday confirm that sanctions have now permanently lifted, the BBC's Jonah Fisher reports from Singapore.

They were suspended a year ago. An arms embargo is expected to remain in place.

'Crimes against humanity'

The video from Meiktila, in Mandalay Region, is remarkable both for the comprehensive way it documents the violence and because much of it was shot by the Burmese police themselves, our correspondent says.

In the sequence where policemen look on as a man rolls on the ground having been set on fire, the watching crowd are heard to say, "No water for him - let him die."

Another sequence shows a young man attempting to flee and getting caught, after which he is beaten by a group of men which includes a monk.

A savage blow with a sword strikes him and he is left on the ground, presumed dead.

Only in one shot are the police seen escorting Muslim women and children away from their burning homes.

The footage corroborates eyewitness testimony.

Three Muslims were jailed for 14 years this month for their role in the violence, while dozens of other people, Muslims and Buddhists, are said to be under investigation.

Violence between Buddhists and Muslims in another part of Burma, Rakhine State, erupted last June.

On Monday, the New York-based organisation Human Rights Watch is due to present what it says is clear evidence of government complicity in ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity against Muslims in Rakhine.

HRW based its findings, it said, on visits to the state and interviews with more than 100 people.

The EU is expected to lift sanctions in recognition of the "remarkable process of reform" in the country, according to a document seen by Reuters news agency.

Special thanks to The BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22243676

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