Rohingya subjected to forced starvation by Myanmar authorities

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Mr Gilour, the United Nations assistant secretary-general for human rights, added: "It appears that widespread and systematic violence against the Rohingya persists".

"The ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar continues".

A Rakhine Buddhist leader facing treason charges linked to deadly riots appeared in a Myanmar court on Wednesday, a case that has aggravated ethnic tensions in a region also roiled by the crackdown on Rohingya Muslims.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for two Rohingya refugees who are in camps in India, had argued that the BSF had adopted a policy called "non-engagement" to prevent the influx of more refugees from Myanmar.

Rohingya are still fleeing because of "systematic" if lower-intensity persecution and violence there, he said.

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"The conversation now must focus on stopping the violence in Rakhine state, ensuring accountability for the perpetrators, and the need for Myanmar to create conditions for return", said Gilmour.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine into Bangladesh since insurgent attacks sparked a security crackdown in August, joining 200,000 refugees from a previous exodus.

There was no immediate comment by the Myanmar government.

Myanmar and Bangladesh originally agreed to begin repatriations in January, but they were delayed by concerns among aid workers and Rohingya that they would be forced to return and face unsafe conditions in Myanmar.

"We have been told by Rohingya who fled from the no man's land that the security forces have been threatening them by shooting guns in the air, throwing stones at them and shouting at them to get out of the area", said Ko Ko Lin, a Rohingya activist in Bangladesh.

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"We don't want India to become the refugee capital of the world", he said, adding that efforts were on at the diplomatic level to resolve the crisis.

"UNHCR is urging the authorities to ensure the safety of the group now in no man's land", UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan said Tuesday.

"UNHCR underscores that everyone has the right to seek asylum, just as they also have the right to return home when they deem the time and circumstances right", it said in a statement released late on Monday.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, deputy army chief Soe Win reiterated the military's stance that the "Rohingya" are not a genuine ethnic group in Myanmar - a view shared by many in the Buddhist majority, where there is broad support for the army campaign. During the reporting of this article, two Reuters journalists were arrested by Myanmar police.

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