Monday, 20 January 2020

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BBC airs video of Meiktila killings

More than a hundred homes were torched during sectarian violence in the town of Meiktila in March 2013. PHOTO: Nyan Lynn/IRIN
The BBC on Sunday ran a report accompanied by a video—much of which they say was acquired from police in Meiktila—that shows the brutal killing of at least two people at the hands of a vicious mob which included Buddhist monks.

The footage shows the looting and destruction of a Muslim gold shop in the central Myanmar town on March 20, though it did not specify whether the shop was the place where the original confrontation took place that ignited the deadly chaos.

“The police watch, hopelessly outnumbered, as the shop is torn apart,” the narrator says.

The footage also includes a brief glimpse at a motorcycle taxi driver who claims that a Buddhist monk he was driving was dragged to the ground by Muslims who then killed him.

But the most gruesome video evidence, which was reportedly shot the same day, shows a half-dead man—identified by the BBC as “almost certainly a Muslim”—lying the street, his body charred after being set on fire by an angry crowd.

Someone calls for water, but another voice off-camera shouts: “No, no water for him—let him die!” Meanwhile, policemen walk around the man “watching but not helping”, unable or unwilling to intervene.

Footage from the following day—March 21—shows Meiktila Muslims apparently attempting to flee to safety. Some are cut off and shelter in a field until one, looking like a teenager, is forced into the open and beaten with clubs. One of the perpetrators is clearly seen to be a monk.

The video is cut or censored as another man approaches wielding a sword. The BBC narrator says he delivers “what appears to be a fatal blow”.

Full BBC video and report:

For more background:
  1. Buddhist-Muslim riot breaks out in Meiktila
  2. Meiktila ‘like a war zone’ in aftermath of rioting

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