Myanmar pro-democracy protesters show support for Rohingya

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jun 13, 2021, 05:37 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Rohingya Muslims, viewed by many in Myanmar as interlopers from Bangladesh have for decades been denied citizenship, rights, access to services and freedom of movement

Pro-democracy protesters agitating against Myanmar's military junta flooded Myanmar's social media with their pictures wearing black and showing solidarity to Rohingya Muslims.

Rohingyas are among the most persecuted minority in the country.

Since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from power in a February 1 coup, an anti-junta movement demanding a return to democracy has grown to include fighting for ethnic minority rights. 

Rohingya Muslims, viewed by many in Myanmar as interlopers from Bangladesh have for decades been denied citizenship, rights, access to services and freedom of movement

Activists and civilians took to social media on Sunday to post pictures of themselves wearing black and flashing a three-finger salute of resistance, in posts tagged "#Black4Rohingya".

"Justice must (be) served for each of you and each of us in Myanmar," said prominent rights activist Thinzar Shunlei Yi on Twitter.

A small protest was shown on local media. The protest took place in Myanmar's commercial hub Yangon. Black clad demonstrators held signs in Burmese which said that they were protesting for the oppressed Rohingya"

By afternoon, the #Black4Rohingya hashtag was trending on Twitter in Myanmar, with more than 180,000 mentions.
Sunday's show of support from the mostly Buddhist, ethnic Bamar-majority population is a far cry from previous years, when even using the term "Rohingya" was a lightning rod for controversy.

In 2017, a bloody military campaign in Myanmar's west sent some 740,000 Rohingya fleeing across the border into Bangladesh carrying accounts of rape, mass killings and arson.

The military has long claimed the crackdown was justified to root out insurgents, and Suu Kyi also defended the army's conduct by travelling to the Hague to rebut charges of genocide at the UN's top court.

The Myanmar public was largely unsympathetic to the Rohingya's plight, while activists and journalists reporting on the issues faced vitriolic abuse online.

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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