Indonesian Muslim protesters shout slogans during a Rohingya solidarity protest outside Myanmar's embassy in Jakarta on Thursday. About a hundred protesters staged a rally urging Myanmar's government to stop violence against ethnic Rohingya. The rape and murder of a Buddhist Rakhine woman on 28 May allegedly by three Muslim Rohingya men, sparked a wave of sectarian violence in the state in June that left at least 77 dead and up to 90,000 people displaced. (EPA Photo/MAST IRHAM
Around 100 men protested outside the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta on Thursday, demanding the ambassador be expelled for Myanmar’s treatment of Muslim Rohingya.
The men wore white headbands with “Save the Rohingya” scrawled in red and carried banners reading “Stop the Violence.”
The rally was organized by a group called the Rohingya Solidarity Society, which in a press release demanded Myanmar’s government formally acknowledge the Rohingya as citizens of the country.
“We urge countries with Muslim populations, especially Indonesia, to take firm and proactive measures to end the Rohingya’s suffering,” a man shouted through a loudspeaker.
Protestors, some of whom threw eggs at the embassy, also called on Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to withdraw support for Myanmar to chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2014 and to expel the country’s ambassador.
Violence erupted between Buddhists and Rohingya in June in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state, leaving about 80 people dead from both sides, according to official estimates deemed low by rights groups.
Around 60,000 people, mostly Rohingya, were displaced by the violence, and New York-based Human Rights Watch said Myanmar security forces opened fire on Rohingya, committed rape and stood by as mobs attacked each other.
Myanmar’s government considers the estimated 800,000 Rohingya in the country to be foreigners, while many citizens see them as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and view them with hostility.
Decades of discrimination have left them stateless and they are viewed by the United Nations as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.