Pope Francis has strongly criticized Myanmar’s atrocities against Rohingya Muslims, saying they are tortured and killed for their faith. The pontiff described the Rohingya as “good and peaceful people” in his midweek address. The pope’s strong defense of the Rohingyas came following a UN human rights report last week, which accused Myanmar’s military of killing hundreds of Rohingya in crackdown in the north of the country. According to the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, accounts of torture, murder and gang-rape at the hands of security forces are so severe they may amount to ethnic cleansing. Rohingyas are subjected to extensive discrimination despite living in Myanmar for centuries. They mainly live in coastal Rakhine state and are not accorded citizenship even if their families have lived there for generations.
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