Entire Muslim Rohingya villages in Myanmar have been demolished and replaced by police barracks, government buildings and refugee relocation camps, the BBC has found.
On a government tour, the BBC saw four locations where secure facilities have been built on what satellite images show were once Rohingya settlements.
Officials denied building on top of the villages in Rakhine state.
In 2017 more than 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar during a military operation.
The UN has described it as “textbook ethnic cleansing”. Myanmar (also called Burma) has denied large-scale killings by its forces.
Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country, continues to deny its troops carried out ethnic cleansing and genocide. It now says it is ready to take some refugees back.
But last month, a second attempt to start repatriating Rohingya refugees failed, after none of the 3,450 people approved by Myanmar to return agreed to do so. They cited the lack of accountability for atrocities committed in 2017, and uncertainty over whether they would get freedom of movement or citizenship.
Myanmar blamed Bangladesh, and said it was prepared to receive large numbers of returnees. To demonstrate this they invited journalists, including the BBC, to see their facilities.
Access to Rakhine is normally tightly restricted. We travelled in a government convoy, and were not allowed to film or interview people without…