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Jakarta Post

Thousands of Muslims protest outside Myanmar embassy

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    Agence France-Presse

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 6, 2017   /   03:22 pm
 Thousands of Muslims protest outside Myanmar embassy Thousands of Muslims stage a protest in front of the Myanmar embassy in Central Jakarta on Sept. 8, 2017 to denounce the harsh treatment of the Rohingya people by the military regime of Myanmar. (The Jakarta Post/Dhoni Setiawan)

Thousands of Muslims protested outside the Myanmar embassy in Central Jakarta on Wednesday demanding an end to violence against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

The demonstrators, many in white Islamic robes and skullcaps, walked through the capital’s streets to converge outside the embassy in downtown Jakarta.

Persecution of the Rohingya, reviled as illegal immigrants and mostly denied citizenship in Myanmar, has been a lightning rod for anger in Indonesia and across the Muslim world.

Protesters shouting "God is greater" and holding banners that read "Stop killing Muslim Rohingyas" gathered to condemn the worsening humanitarian situation in Rakhine state.

"I think this is not only a religion issue, but moreover a humanitarian issue. What is happening there is very cruel," Tita Fatmawati, a teacher from Bogor, West Java, told AFP.

About 6,000 armed police and military officers were deployed to guard the embassy, which was cordoned off behind barbed wire, Jakarta's police spokesman told AFP.

Authorities have been on alert since Sunday after a molotov cocktail was thrown at the embassy.

Nearly 125,000 mostly Rohingya refugees have crossed the border to Bangladesh in recent weeks, fleeing a security sweep by Myanmar forces who have been torching villages in response to attacks by Rohingya militants on August 25.

Foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, wrapped up a two-day visit to Myanmar on Tuesday, where she urged Suu Kyi as well as army chief General Min Aung Hlaing to help resolve the crisis.