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Myanmar convicts five over fake rape claim that sparked riots

A Myanmar court convicted five people for spreading fabricated allegations that a Muslim man raped a Buddhist woman, which led to deadly riots last July, a court official said on Friday.



Yangon: A Myanmar court convicted five people for spreading fabricated allegations that a Muslim man raped a Buddhist woman, which led to deadly riots last July, a court official said on Friday.

One Buddhist and one Muslim man were killed during two days of rioting in the central city of Mandalay, which began when a mob of about 300 Buddhists swarmed a tea shop owned by a Muslim man accused of raping a female Buddhist employee.

Among those sentenced to 21 years in prison was Phyu Phyu Min, who filed a case with police in Pyinmana, a town near Mandalay, claiming she had been raped. She later confessed that she was paid to file the false complaint.

"Their false charge of offence sparked a riot in our peaceful society, leading to the death of two, causing distrust and conflicts between two communities," said a Mandalay Region court official who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

President Thein Sein`s government launched sweeping political and economic reforms after he took office in 2011 following 49 years of military rule. However, it has struggled to contain outbreaks of anti-Muslim violence in which at least 240 people have been killed since June 2012.

Most of the victims have been Muslims and riots are often preceded by claims that a Muslim man raped a Buddhist woman, as was the case in Mandalay.

From Zee News

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