3 arrested in Rohingya protest at Myanmar embassy

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KUALA LUMPUR: Three individuals were arrested in a protest against the killing of the Rohingya in Myanmar in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Jalan Ampang Hilir today.

About 1,000 people joined in the rally held after Friday prayers. Many of them were Rohingya.

They marched 1km from Masjid Tabung Haji in Jalan Tun Razak to the embassy.

The march got off to a disorderly start in Jalan Tun Razak, but became more orderly as they approached a police blockade about 100m from the embassy.

One of the participants made it through the police barricade and tried to follow several NGO leaders, who were there to send a memorandum to the deputy ambassador, into the building.

“My family was raped and murdered!” he screamed several times before he was arrested and placed in a police truck.

The man continued to shout, “This is a Muslim country! Help us!” He repeatedly banged his head on the walls of the truck.

Police also arrested two other Rohingya.

Another Rohingya, Rafiq Ismail, 49, alleged that 17 of his family members had been killed by Myanmar soldiers.

“I couldn’t find them and finally found out that the cruel military had killed them.

“We have no value and are treated like ants. We do not have any weapons and simply want peace.”

Today’s rally also saw the participation of several PAS members and NGOs, including the Red Shirts and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations.

Wangsa Maju deputy district police chief Ramli Kasa, who was on the scene, said five memoranda were handed over to embassy representatives.

“About 40 police officers were deployed. The overall situation was peaceful and we arrested three individuals who could have created chaos.”

The Rohingya Muslims who live in Rakhine, Myanmar, face persecution by the country’s government and are not considered citizens.

According to an AFP report last Monday, about 1,000 houses were burnt down during an army operation in Rakhine which claimed 70 lives and displaced 30,000 residents.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported in 2015 that 25,000 Rohingyas were trapped in the middle of the ocean after they fled by boat to seek protection in several countries, including Malaysia.