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
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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.
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.
“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.