Indonesian protesters rally in support of Rohingyas

Jakarta: Dozens of protesters on Wednesday staged a demonstration outside the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta, protesting against the inhuman treatment of Rohingya Muslims in that country and demanding its government to take action.

The demonstrators shouted slogans and carried placards reading “We stand with Rohingya” to express solidarity with members of the minority community in Myanmar, Efe news reported.

The protests were held a day after a boat with 20 Rohingya refugees reached the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province after it was found adrift at sea.

It was the third boat of Rohingya refugees to arrive in Aceh this year after two boats, with 76 and five refugees respectively, were rescued in April.

Aceh has traditionally provided asylum to Rohingyas, with the region having received over 2,000 refugees in 2015, many of whom lived for more than a year in a refugee camp in Langsa.

Over 730,000 Rohingyas, who are not recognized as citizens by Myanmar, have sought refuge in Bangladesh since August 2017, following a military campaign against the minority community in western Rakhine state.

As the monsoon season ends, Rohingyas usually make a treacherous voyage through the Andaman Sea on their way to Thailand and Malaysia.

In 2015, the Thai authorities launched a crackdown against human smuggling after mass graves were found in jungle camps near the Malaysia border.

Bangladesh and Myanmar had earlier reached a deal to start repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to Rakhine on a voluntary basis from November 15.

But the repatriation process was cancelled due to the refusal of refugees to go back, citing lack of guarantees regarding their security and citizenship.