Burma: Satellite Images Detail Destruction of Meiktila

Investigations, Accountability Needed to Deter Future Attacks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Bangkok, April 1, 2013) – The Burmese government should thoroughly investigate and hold accountable those who incited and committed deadly violence in Meiktila in central Burma from March 20 to 22, 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. Decisive government action to combat impunity, end discrimination, and promote tolerance among religious groups is needed to end the tide of attacks against Muslim communities.

An estimated 40 people were killed and 61 wounded in the clashes between Muslims and majority Buddhists in Meiktila in the Mandalay Division, Human Rights Watch said. Satellite images analysed by Human Rights Watch show the scale of the destruction: an estimated 828 buildings, the vast majority residences, were totally destroyed and at least 35 other buildings were partially destroyed. Areas with near total destruction were concentrated within three locations in Meiktila measuring more than 24 hectares in total area west and northeast of the city’s main market. The destruction appears similar to satellite imagery of towns affected by sectarian violence in Arakan State in 2012, in which arson attacks left large, clearly defined residential areas in ashes.

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Photographs

  • Pre-violence view of Meiktila (Main Damage Area 1) on December 13, 2012.
    © 2013 Astrium

  • Post-violence view of Meiktila (Main Damage Area 1) on March 26, 2013.
    © 2013 Astrium

  • Pre-violence view of Meiktila (Main Damage Area 2) on December 13, 2012.
    © 2013 Astrium

  • Post-violence view of Meiktila (Main Damage Area 2) on March 26, 2013.
    © 2013 Astrium

Maps and Satellite

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_01

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_02

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_03

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_04

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_05

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_06

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_07

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_08

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_09

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_10

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_11

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_12

    © 2013 Astrium; Damage Analysis by Human Rights Watch

  • HRW_Meiktila_Damages_13

    © 2013 Human Rights Watch