About 3,000 marchers, chanting and displaying placards, took to the streets of Cape Town in solidarity with the people of Rohingya who live “under apartheid conditions”.
About 3,000 marchers, chanting and displaying placards, took to the streets of Cape Town in solidarity with the people of Rohingya who live “under apartheid conditions”. The Rohingya are a community of about 1-million people who are Muslims and visibly different from Burmese because they are darker and live in the northwest region of Myanmar.
While delivering a speech in front of Parliament, Terry Crawford-Browne from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said they want to “express solidarity with the Rohingya community in Myanmar … where apartheid laws declare over one million people to be stateless and foreigners. Our government has been silent, criminally silent”, said Crawford Browne.
Religious leaders from different religions, labour and human rights organisations made speeches about the need for peace, justice and human rights for the Rohingya people. Some of the protestors demanded that the South African Government intervene and take “a decisive stand against Myanmar for these human rights violations… by withdrawing our diplomatic staff from Myanmar and to expel the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar from South Africa,” reads the statement.
Achmat Sedick from the Muslim Judicial Council said that the gross human rights violation of Rohingya people have been recorded since 1978. “The Rohingya are denied their rights to education, land, freedom of movement, employment and to marry without state permission. They are also subjected to both forced labour and forced sterilisation,” said Sedick.
Meanwhile COSATU secretary in the Western Cape, Tony Ehrenreich, said it is unacceptable that the United Nations, which has failed Palestinians is again failing the people of Rohingya by not acting against the genocide. “As workers, we won’t be handling products from Myanmar because it’s not acceptable what is happening there,” said Ehrenreich.
Khadija Patel Allie, Chair of the Muslim Judicial Council Women’s Forum urged women to act and to raise awareness about what is happening to the Rohingya community.