An Iranian top diplomat has called on Myanmar’s government to put an end to the ongoing atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in the country.
“We will not tolerate victimization of Muslims in anywhere and we call on Myanmar’s government to control the situation and prevent the crimes against Muslims,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Thursday.
He made the remarks in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to discuss the plight of Rohingya Muslims.
He touched on the killing and displacement of Muslims in clashes with Buddhist extremists. “We do not believe such clashes have religious roots. However, the important thing is that Muslims are the victims there,” he said.
The Iranian diplomat said the Rohingya suffer extreme hardship due to the fact that Myanmar does not recognize them as citizens, calling on the country to resolve the issue by granting citizenship to the Muslim minority.
The OIC, which represents 57 countries, was to hold an emergency meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to discuss regional issues, including the ongoing military crackdown against the Rohingya.
Myanmar’s military began the crackdown in the Rakhine state after an attack on the country’s border guards on October 9 left nine police officers dead, which the government blamed on the Rohingya.
There are reports that at least 400 people have been killed, more than 2,500 houses, mosques, and religious schools destroyed, and three villages completely wiped out during the military siege. The Myanmar government meanwhile has blocked humanitarian and media access to Rakhine.
On Thursday, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said the fact that the Rohingya are forced to flee Myanmar is a tragic indictment of the situation they face at home.
He said the persecution of the Rohigya community at home has the potential to impact the security and stability of the entire southeast Asia region.
Razak warned that violence must stop before terrorist organizations such as Daesh Takfiri terrorists infiltrate the Rohingya.
Plight of Rohingya Muslims
Rohingya Muslims have been subjected to executions, rape, and arson attacks since October, according to refugees and rights groups.
Myanmar’s government denies full citizenship to the 1.1 million-strong Rohingya population and instead brands them as “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh, even as many trace their lineage in Myanmar back generations.
The Rohingya Muslims who have fled to Bangladesh during decades of violence in Myanmar, as many as 500,000, are not recognized as citizens by Dhaka, either.