Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in the capital of Chechnya to protest the “genocide of Muslims” by Burmese authorities.
More than 400 people have been killed in the last week alone during clashes between the Rohingya Muslim minority and Burma’s military, and both sides have accused each other of committing atrocities.
Pictures from the protest in the capital city of Grozny showed up to 30,000 people on the streets, one day after hundreds more appeared at the Burmese embassy in Moscow and other protests were held in Dagestan. On Sunday a small petrol bomb was thrown at the Burmese embassy in Jakarta.
The protests follow criticism from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov against the inaction of world governments to stop the violence against Muslims in Burma.
Burma’s de factor leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is facing calls from United Nations officials to “step in” as she tries to re-establish amicable relations with the country’s military that once kept her under house arrest.
Most of the protest activity was ignored by Russia state-owned television channels.
Rohingya mothers face persecution Rohingya mothers face persecution
On 25 August the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed support for the Burmese authorities.
During a speech in Grozny, Mr Kadyrov said he would “go against Russia” if the Russian government supported Burma’s military, and he compared the violence to the Holocaust.
Video shows Rohingya flee burning villages in Myanmar
Violence against the one-million strong Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority, re-emerged in Burma’s western Rakhine state last October as the country’s military continued to wield its power in response to Rohingya insurgents allegedly attacking police posts.
Nobel Peace Laureate Suu Kyi has been accused of downplaying the issue, and the violence has dampened expectations of democratic progress under the new government.
Homeless and helpless: The Rohingya Muslims of Rakhine state Homeless and helpless: The Rohingya Muslims of Rakhine state
Other Muslim nations in South East Asia have recently voiced concern as they face an influx of refugees, including Malaysia and Indonesia. Dozens of Rohingya people have died trying to cross the Naf river which forms part of the Burmese north border.
UN estimates show that around 87,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh. Survivors have described a crackdown including burning villages and attacking civilians.
Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai said in a statement that Suu Kyi should condemn the “tragic and shameful treatment” of the Rohingya.
“If their home is not Myanmar, where they have lived for generations, then where is it?” she said. “Rohingya people should be given citizenship in Myanmar, the country where they were born.”
Agencies contributed to this report.