Muslim women abandoned by husbands who blamed them for rape

Rohignya Muslim women ‘raped by Burma soldiers and abandoned by husbands who blame them’

Rohingya Muslims say they have been abandoned by their husbands after telling them they were raped by government soldiers.

Women and girls have accused soldiers and police officers of rape and sexual assault during months of violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Burma.

One woman, Ayamar Bagon, told AFP she has been forced to live on handouts after her husband left her when she told him she was gang-raped by soldiers.

“I was raped close to my due date, in my ninth month of pregnancy. They knew I was pregnant but didn’t care,” Ms Bagon said.

Clutching her baby daughter to her chest, the 20-year-old added: “My husband blamed me for letting it happen. Because of this, he married another woman and now lives in another village.”

Hasinnar Baygon, a 20-year-old mother-of-two, told the agency her husband had also threatened to leave her after she was raped by three soldiers.

She alleged they took turns to violate her after all Rohingya men had fled the village, leaving only the women, children and elderly.

“My husband told me he is going to leave me. He blamed me for not running away,” she added.

Human Rights Watch said members of the army and border guard police took part in rape, gang rape, invasive body searches and sexual assaults against women and girls in at least nine villages in the Rohingya-dominated Maungdaw district in the final months of 2016.

The attacks were reportedly often carried out in groups, with women being held down or threatened at gunpoint by some men while others raped them. – AP

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