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UK must act on Rohingya Muslim refugee crisis, MP tells Whitechapel solidarity meeting

PUBLISHED: 13:08 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:37 13 September 2017

Rohingya fefugees reaching Bangladesh plea for food after their flight rom Burma. Picture: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Rohingya fefugees reaching Bangladesh plea for food after their flight rom Burma. Picture: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

The government is being urged to take action against the Burmese regime over the refugee crisis caused by “the silent genocide” of Rohingya Muslims, a public solidarity meeting in Whitechapel heard.

Rohingya refugees from Burma collect water from a well at refugee camp over border in Bangladesh, becoming desperate for scant basic resources as hunger and illness soares. Picture: Bernat ArmangueRohingya refugees from Burma collect water from a well at refugee camp over border in Bangladesh, becoming desperate for scant basic resources as hunger and illness soares. Picture: Bernat Armangue

The crisis is hitting Bangladesh with tens-of-thousands fleeing across the border from Burma’s Rakhine state, in a mass exodus estimated by the UN to be 300,000, supporters at the packed meeting at the London Muslim centre were told.

Details unfolded of Rohingya Muslims being maltreated in camps controlled by the Burmese military.

Rushanara Ali, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on democracy in Burma, revealed moves in the Commons to intervene.

“We in Parliament are appealing to our government to step-up and to take action against the Burmese government,” she said.

Packed solidarity meeting at Whitechapel calling for government to intervene in Rohingya Muslims crisis. Picture: East London MosquePacked solidarity meeting at Whitechapel calling for government to intervene in Rohingya Muslims crisis. Picture: East London Mosque

“I saw first-hand what has happened in those camps. Children and women were dying after the violence.

“Sadly, things have not got better despite the move towards the democratic transition.”

Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan called for embargos and sanctions against Burma “just as we do with Zimbabwe and Syria—states that kill their own people”.

Legal perspectives on the atrocities were given by barrister Carl Buckley, from Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, describing Aung San Suu Kyi’s government “in the same position as the Syrian regime where those fighting for human rights are being described as terrorists”.

The Human Appeal charity ran a fundraising session after the meeting which brought in £80,000 for refugee relief in just 30 minutes.

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