The Jakarta Post
Hundreds of people from about 20 Islamic groups lambasted Russia for committing war crimes in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo during a rally in front of the Russian Embassy on Jl.HR Rasuna Said, South Jakarta, on Monday.
In the rally, the groups demanded Russia “to stop killing Muslims in Syria or face threats from Indonesian jihadists”.
“Innocent and weak people are being slaughtered in Syria when calls for world peace are heard everywhere in the world. It seems that human rights are only applicable for non-Muslims," Muhammad Zaitun Rasmin, one of group leaders, said in his speech.
“Russia has been involved in the murder of Muslims in Syria. We hereby warn of the fall of Russia,” he went on.
The groups participating in the rally united under a coalition called Gerakan Kemanusiaan 212 (212 Humanitarian Movement), which referred to a massive prayer event held by Islamic organizations against non-active Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s alleged blasphemy on Dec. 2.
Emphasizing their protest against Russia, several protesters carried photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him "a real terrorist", while some others trampled upon a banner emblazoned with a picture of Putin's face.
Participants of Monday’s rally further demanded President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to cut diplomatic ties with Russia and Iran for crimes the two countries had committed against Muslims in Syria. They also asked the government to ban both embassies from operating in Indonesia.
Russia initiated a bombing campaign in Syria last week at the request of President Bashar al-Ashad, who also received strong support from Iran. The strikes were claimed to free Aleppo from the Islamic State extremist group and other jihadists. (ebf)
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