In her first comments on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, the country’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday claimed that the situation in Rakhine state was being distorted by a “huge iceberg of misinformation”, the BBC reported. She blamed fake news for fanning tensions related to the Muslims.

Suu Kyi made the comments during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A government statement said Suu Kyi told Erdogan that the Myanmar administration was “defending all the people in Rakhine in the best way possible”. “We know very well, more than most, what it means to be deprived of human rights and democratic protection,” the Nobel Prize winner was quoted as saying.

The Rohingya crisis

Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship in Myanmar and are classified as illegal immigrants, despite them claiming roots in the country centuries ago. For years, there have been horrific reports of the community being subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar, though the government has always strongly denied the allegation.

Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than 10 lakh stateless Rohingyas in Rakhine. She has come under pressure from Muslim-majority countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia to stop the violence against the Muslims. So far, at least 1.25 lakh Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh, and reports of atrocities committed against the community at the border continue to come in.