SHAFAQNA – “Stop Rohingya Genocide” was the common slogan during a protest in front of the government offices at 10 Downing Street in the British capital, London on Saturday.
Around 200 people staged a protest holding pictures, placards and banners all condemning the latest atrocities against the Muslim minority by Myanmar’s army and government.
“This is anger! We are expressing our anger against the Burmese government who is doing genocide against our people,” Nurul Islam, the president of Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO), said.
“We want to draw attention of the U.K. government, being a member of the [UN] Security Council and a powerful country,” he said.
“The U.K. government must intervene now,” he added.
Some of the placards read “Stop Genocide on Rohingya in Arakan”, “Stop Restriction of Aid”, and “UK Condemn do not Deny Rohingya Genocide!”
Some protesters held graphic photos of the victims killed during the latest atrocities targeting Rohingya civilians.
“We don’t want to live a life of humiliation as refugees and as beggars in Bangladesh or elsewhere. We want to live in our own homeland and die in our homeland,” Islam added.
“It is important that a safe zone is created inside Arakan. Humanitarian intervention is necessary,” he said.
Islam also said they were encouraged very much by the works of the Turkish government and its president. “Turkish government and president was the first to address the rescue of Rohingya people.”
The UK Burma Rohingya Organization President Tun Khin also spoke to Anadolu Agency and underlined the necessity of an urgent UN intervention in the region.
“We need urgent UN intervention… We need immediate action from the Downing Street (British government),” Khin said.
Another protester, a refugee from Arakan, Mohammed Nouri told Anadolu Agency that he came to the U.K. from Myanmar with his family in 1992.
Shimul Sultana, a Bangladeshi protester said she was at the protest to, “fight for the Rohingya people because there’s no one else out there to fight for them” and to protest because, “especially this genocide is going on.”
A Budhist protester Maung Zarni said he was at the protest, “to tell the truth about the Rohingya people.”
“My own country has disowned them and treated them as a subject of genocide for the last 40 years,” Zarni, an academician from Myanmar told Anadolu Agency.
“I am here to tell the world that Rohingya are not terrorists… they are our own people… and that the Burmese military adopted anti-Muslim and racist policies against the Rohingya.”
“I am here to tell the British government that they have blood on their hands because they are training the killer military, they are supporting Aung San Suu Kyi.”
The commission headed by the former UN chief recommended the government in Myanmar ensure full humanitarian aid access across Rakhine, persecute human rights violators, end restrictions of movement and segregation as well as “revisit” the Citizenship Law of 1982.
More than 250,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh in the last two weeks to evade persecution in Myanmar, the UN said Friday.
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it interviewed 50 recently arrived Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who described killings, shelling and arson in their villages.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
The UN has documented mass gang rapes, killings — including those of infants and young children — brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel.
UN investigators said the human rights violations indicated crimes against humanity.