Iran’s Supreme Leader has strongly condemned the killing of Muslims in Myanmar by the government.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the killing of Rohingya Muslims is a political disaster for Myanmar because it is being carried out by a government led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he called a “brutal woman.”
He urged Muslim countries to take practical steps to stop the violence and said they should “increase political, economic and commercial pressures on the government of Myanmar.”
At least 313,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts, prompting Myanmar’s military to retaliate with what it called “clearance operations” to root out the rebels.
Myanmar authorities said more than a week ago that some 400 Rohingya, mostly insurgents, had died in clashes with troops, but it has offered no update. It has also blamed Rohingya for burning their own homes even though new fires were occurring after Rohingya fled.
The Bangladeshi prime minister is visiting a struggling refugee camp that has absorbed some of the hundreds of thousands who fled recent violence in Myanmar.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told a rally during Tuesday’s visit to the Kutupalong refugee camp, near the border town of Ukhiya, that she wished for peace for the Rohingya and would not “tolerate injustice” against them.
She pledged that Bangladesh would do its best to help the Rohingya, but said Myanmar should take steps soon to “take their nationals back.”
On Monday night, she lambasted Myanmar for “atrocities” that she said had reached a level beyond description.
The Bangladeshi leader has lambasted Myanmar for the “atrocities” that have driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh in recent weeks.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged Buddhist-majority Myanmar to bring the Rohingya back, while parliament passed a motion Monday night urging the U.N. and other countries to pressure Myanmar for their safety and citizenship.
“Myanmar must take back every Rohingya who has entered Bangladesh and who are coming in now,” she told lawmakers late Monday. “We can cooperate to rehabilitate them in their country.”
Hasina criticized Myanmar’s authorities for the recent violence against the Rohingya, which she said had reached a level beyond description.
The United States says it is “deeply troubled” by the Myanmar crisis, which hundreds of thousands of Muslims have fled to escape violence.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the administration continues to condemn the violence between Rohingya Muslims and Myanmar security forces.
The United Nations reported Monday that 313,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine — the biggest flight of the minority Rohingya in a generation.
The violence began Aug. 25, when an ethnic Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts in Myanmar and security forces retaliated.
Villages were burned and hundreds of people died, mainly Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship and regarded by Myanmar’s majority Buddhists as illegal immigrants.