Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Iranians express solidarity with Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Hundreds of Iranians have staged a rally to express solidarity with the ethnic Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and protest against mass slaughter of the community in the southeastern Asian state.

During the rally held in front of the UN office in Tehran on Tuesday, the Iranian demonstrators chanted slogans in condemnation of atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims, and demanded an immediate halt to the ongoing carnage in Myanmar.

Iran has called on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to take immediate action and urge the Myanmar regime to put an end to the ongoing genocide and systematic violation of human rights of the Muslim people in the country.

In a letter to addressed Pillay, Iran's permanent representative at UN's European Office in Geneva, Seyyed Mohammad Reza Sajjadi, has called for immediate and effective action by all concerned international organizations, including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to condemn and call on the Myanmar regime to rapidly stop the “genocide and widespread and systematic violation of human rights of the innocent Muslim people of Myanmar.”

He has also expressed deep concern over the continuation of rampant violence and pogrom of the Muslim people of Myanmar, including a remarkable number of women and children.

Sajjadi stressed that the new wave of violence against Muslims in Myanmar, which has led to mass killing of hundreds of innocent civilians, destruction and burning of mosques and houses, and forceful expulsion of people from their homes has hurt the humane sentiments and caused deep concern among the international community and the world people.

The government of Myanmar refuses to recognize the Rohingya Muslims, who it claims are not natives and classifies them as illegal migrants. This comes while the Rohingya are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to Myanmar as early as the 8th century.

Myanmar’s President Thein Sein said on July 19 that the "only solution" to the plight of Rohingya Muslims is to send the country’s nearly one million Muslims -- which is one of the world's most persecuted minorities -- to refugee camps run by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

However, the UN refugee agency has snubbed the idea of setting up refugee camps to accommodate the Rohingyas.

"We will send them away if any third country would accept them," Sein added. "This is what we are thinking is the solution to the issue."

Even Myanmar’s Western-sponsored democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has kept silent on atrocities perpetrated against the Rohingya Muslims.

Over the past two years, waves of ethnic Muslims have attempted to flee by boats in the face of systematic oppression by the Myanmar government.


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