Nearly a hundred people on Friday gathered in front of the Myanmar embassy to protest the ongoing persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State.
The demonstration, organized by the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), saw dozens of protestors waving banners decrying the Myanmar military’s ongoing crimes against Rohingya Muslims.
“We are so worried and concerned about what’s taking place in Myanmar against the most persecuted minority in the world,” Executive Director of CAIR, Nihad Awad said. “Because of their ethnicity, because of their faith and because of who they are.”
Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine’s Maungdaw district, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.
Fresh violence erupted in Rakhine state nearly two weeks ago when security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya and thousands of them have been slaughtered.
Describing the Rohingya Muslims as the single largest minority that is considered stateless, Awad slammed the Myanmar government saying, it lives in the stone age and has a tribal mentality.
“They, (Myanmar) are judging and would they like to be judged based on skin color and ethnicity. Not with their character, or their worth, or their law or their state,” he continued, adding that this is the reason why its a failed government.
Turning to Myanmar’s de facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, Awad noted that she is a part of the violence and he does not know why she was given a Nobel Peace Prize.
“Probably she was given that award while she believed in democracy and human rights for all,” he said. “But once she got the power, under her watch, people are being massacred, being dismembered, being shot and slaughtered like sheep.”
Awad also slammed Suu Kyi for denying the brutality that is taking place in her country, called her “heartless”.
In addition, Awad drew attention to the insufficient global outrage about the ongoing persecution of Rohingya Muslims, and urged people to put pressure on their government in order to stop the “genocide” in Rakhine state.
“Today, as Christians, as Muslims, as Buddhist, as Jews, or people of no faith, we are failing our humanity in Myanmar,” he added, reminding that humanity also failed the people of Bosnia, Kashmir, Palestine, Syria as well as many other places before.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including infants and young children — brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.In a report, UN investigators said the human rights violations constituted crimes against humanity.Bangladesh, which already hosted around 400,000 Rohingya refugees, has faced a fresh influx of refugees since the security operation was launched.According to the UN, 270,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh as of Friday.