Rohingya Muslims protest at Myanmar embassy

Rohingya Muslims protest at Myanmar embassy

Rohingya people rally in front of the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
Rohingya people rally in front of the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims gathered at the Myanmar embassy on Sathon Road in Bangkok on Friday afternoon to urge an immediate end to the reported mass killing of Rohingya people in Rakhine state.

The demonstrators said that a campaign of persecution since Oct 9 has killed hundreds of people, displaced at least 30,000 others and destroyed about 1,250 houses in Rohingya communities in northwestern Myanmar.

They urged the Myanmar government to allow international organisations to reach the areas to provide necessary aid.

Similar protests took place on Friday in Dhaka, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. The rally in the Bangladeshi capital attracted 5,000 local Muslims.

A UN official said this week that Myanmar was carrying out "ethnic cleansing", as horrifying stories of gang rape, torture and murder emerged from among the thousands who have fled to Bangladesh.

Over the past six weeks, rights groups have expressed growing concern about the escalation of the military campaign, which began after a series of attacks on police stations on Oct 9 killed nine people. Myanmar military authorities blamed local radicals who may have had support from Islamist groups in other countries.

The violence in Rakhine is forcing hundreds of Rohingya people to flee to neighbouring countries, said Meta Mekarat, vice-president of the Council for Humanitarian Networking of the Sheikhul Islam Office (the office of the Islamic spiritual leader in Thailand).

He also demanded independent investigations into the Oct 9 attacks on Myanmar police officers to verify the army's claims.

''We cannot bear to see our Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured anymore, so we came here to show solidarity for Rohingya and call for other Islamic organisations to protest against the Myanmar government,'' he said outside the embassy.

The demonstration lasted for one hour and dispersed at 3pm.

Myanmar embassies in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta have been targeted by protesters. (Reuters video)

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