Myanmar’s Killing Fields
Secretly filmed video evidence of the Myanmar military’s violent campaign against the Rohingyas
Children, ages five and six, with their throats slit. Babies thrown into fires. Mass rape of women and children. Entire villages burned to the ground.
Myanmar’s Killing Fields is the most comprehensive investigation to date of the mass slaughter of the Rohingya people by Myanmar security forces — an effort that has been described by the U.N. as having the “hallmarks of genocide.”
With never-before-seen footage filmed by a secret network of citizen activists, firsthand accounts from victims and their families, and candid insights from leading dignitaries who say they confronted Aung San Suu Kyi about the crisis, the film documents the attempted annihilation of a people and unearths new evidence that security forces committed crimes against humanity.
Muslim Rohingyas have been living in Myanmar’s Rakhine State for generations, but the government views many of them as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. With shocking footage filmed by the secret activist network, Myanmar’s Killing Fields tells the story of an orchestrated campaign against Rohingya Muslims in majority-Buddhist Myanmar going back more than 5 years — long before their exodus became world news.
The filmmakers spent six months attempting to independently corroborate the footage and other videos, interviewing scores of witnesses, comparing their accounts, and cross-checking them with human rights investigators. The evidence rebuts the Myanmar military’s assertion that its violent campaign was simply a counter-insurgency “clearance operation” targeted against a militant Islamic Rohingya group, ARSA, that had attacked and killed security forces at police and army bases.
“These were not sporadic acts. These were well-organized, well-thought-through,” UN High Commissioner Zeid al Hussein tells FRONTLINE. “There is some design to this... This was a textbook case of ethnic cleansing.”
In Myanmar’s Killing Fields, the victims of brutal violence tell their stories: “My five-year-old was thrown into the river,” says Mumtaz Begum, who survived a massacre at Tula Toli. “I had a two-year-old baby on my hip. They grabbed the baby and threw him in the fire … As they raped me, my daughter was screaming, so they macheted her three times.”
Nominated for a Grierson Award, 2018
Nominated for and AIB Award, 2018