Those who read the Amnesty report on ARSA know it didn’t contain a shred of evidence about who ARSA is, how many ARSA fighters there are, what kind of weapons they have, what their politics are, what actions they engage in, or if most of them are even still alive. If Amnesty didn’t know, maybe the Hindus they interviewed didn’t know. So how can Amnesty claim it did a “rigorous” investigation? Did the Hindus Amnesty interviewed for their report have any contact with ARSA before the massacre? Would they be able to distinguish ARSA fighters from agents provocateurs associated with the Burmese military? How did they know they were members of ARSA since they were dressed in plainclothes? Did their speech give them away? Did they identify themselves? How did Amnesty know it wasn’t being played by Suu Kyi & the Generals?
Since the end of January, ARSA has not engaged on Twitter & there was speculation they were disappeared. They began tweeting again May 26th to deny Amnesty’s allegations. There’s no reason to disbelieve them unless Amnesty can come up with proof–not just credible proof but any proof–for their allegations. Because it stretches credulity that a ragtag little band of irregular forces who were being hunted down by a genocidal army & death squads would stop rear guard actions against the Rohingya genocide to massacre a group of Hindus. It’s even more questionable because so many Hindus fled with Rohingyas from the Burmese army & Buddhist death squads breathing down their necks. Whoever in Amnesty is responsible for this report should be fired for recklessness, dishonesty, & shoddy scholarship but Amnesty may have a deeper problem. Both its 2015 report on Hamas & this report on ARSA missed the greater problem of genocide against Palestinians & Rohingyas. When it comes to human rights investigations of genocide, you can’t miss the forest for the trees. Amnesty has done so much important work that it would be unfortunate if it decided to throw in its lot with the Islamophobic war on terror.