To protest against the genocide of 20,000 Muslims in Burma, the civil society activists and human rights workers gathered in front of the National Press Club where they demanded of the United Nations (UN) and Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to intervene and stop the killings of innocent Muslims.
The protest was organised by Bardasht to show solidarity with the Burmese Muslims. Rozan, Sisters Trust and Movement of Social Justice joined Bardasht. President Pakistan Muslim League Farukh Khan and Nagina Sadaf from Women’s Wing of Pakistan People’s Party also joined the protest.
The protestors were holding placards inscribed with their demands and chanted slogans against the criminal silence of international human rights organizations over the inhuman killings of Muslims in Burma.
The statistics shared with media say that around 20,000 Muslims killed, over 90,000 displaced, 4,000 families burnt alive and 300 mosques have been closed in Burma since June. Burmese military and community is accused of killing, rape and mass arrests targeting Rohingya Muslims during recent sectarian violence in Western Burma.
The Burmese government initially failed to take measures to stop the flare up of violence between ethnic Rakhine Burmese and Rohingya Muslims, which began in June after a Buddhist woman was sexually assaulted and murdered.
The violence, which has left thousands of Muslims dead and led to the displacement of more than 100,000 people, has also focused new attention on the plight of about one million members of the Rohingya minority, who live in Burma but are not accepted as citizens there, or in the neighbouring Bangladesh.
The protestors expressed disappointment over the failure of the international community to take action to stop the massacres, violations, oppression and ethnic cleansing by the government of Burma against Muslims. They demanded sanctions against Burmese government and expressed disappointment over the silence of the international organizations working for human rights.
They also urged the government of Pakistan to take strong stance against the injustice done to Muslims in Burma and demanded of the prime minister, president and foreign minister to play their role in building pressure on Myanmar government.
Condemning the act of religious persecution, Chairperson Bardasht Nilofar Bukhtiar regretted that the killings and sufferings of such large population of Muslims in Burma still awaits to be taken up by human rights organizations, media, OIC and Muslim Ummah forums. She appealed to the world leaders to address the pain and plight of violence victims.
She said that Bardasht has already written letter to the OIC urging the organization to intervene and represent a united stance of Muslim countries on international level against the atrocities done to Mulims in Burma. She requested the Bangladeshi government to give citizenship to Burmese Muslims to protect them from further violence and victimization.
Human rights activist Farzana Bari said this is not the first time that Burmese Muslims were targeted. “They people are living in this area for hundreds of years but neither Burmese government nor Bangladesh accepted them as citizens,” she said adding that she equally condemns any Muslim involved in the killing of Burmese. “This is an issue of gross human rights violations and should be fully investigated.”