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Myanmar to investigate video of police beating villagers

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State newspaper says police were acting on a tipoff that militants from the Muslim minority were being sheltered in the village. 


Myanmar is to investigate police officers who were filmed beating Rohingya villagers, an unusual admission that security forces may have carried out abuses against the Muslim minority.
The office of Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto leader, said action would be taken after a YouTube user called Rohingya Blogger posted the video over the weekend. At least four officers have been detained, a statement said.
Filmed by a police officer smoking a cigarette, it shows his colleagues kicking two men sitting on the ground and using a baton on them, while dozens of other male villagers sit alongside with their heads down.
The Rohingya are a minority of about a million people who, despite living in the country for generations, are treated as illegal immigrants and denied citizenship. The government and nationalist Buddhists have persecuted them for years.
The Guardian has been unable to authenticate the video, because it was purportedly shot in Rakhine state, where the government is conducting an intense military operation and has blocked access for aid workers and journalists.
Myanmar says it is responding to several Rohingya militant attacks that killed nine police officers on 9 October.
The state counsellor’s office, run by Aung San Suu Kyi, said the footage was filmed on 5 November during a “clearance operation” in Kotankauk village.

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