A large number of people responded to a call by three U.S.-based Pakistani organizations and staged a demonstration in New Yorks Times square on Saturday evening in support of the rights of the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar and and those of migrants around the world.
Human rights activist from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia joined the demonstration sponsored by Pakistan-USA Freedom Forum [PUFF] , Bronx Community Council, American Council of Minority Woman.
Speakers at the rally, including PUFF President Mohammad Rafiq, President of PML-N Rohail Dar, PUFF Secretary-General Comrade Shahid and activists Shabbir Gul, Wahid Ansari and Marty Goodman as well as representatives of the youth wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
(PTI) called on the leaders of Myanmar and the world to take immediate action to halt the inhuman persecution of Rohingya people.
They thanked the governments of Pakistan and Turkey for their support to the cause of Rohingya Muslims.
Demonstrators carried placards and chanted slogans in support of the right of Rohingyas to citizenship in their country of birth, saying they deserved equal rights and opportunities.
“We stand for the rights of Rohingyas,” Comrade Shahid said. “They (Rohingyas) deserve to be treated like we all deserve to be treated – with dignity and respect.”
A wave of violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmars western
Rakhine State has triggered an influx of refugees into neighbouring countries. Rohingyas face daily discrimination, including controls on their movements, family size and access to jobs.
Myanmars discriminatory policies have forced tens of thousands Rohingyas to flee overseas. They have been risking their lives by crossing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to seek refuge in Malaysia and Indonesia.