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Chesterfield vigil to be held for persecuted Rohingya Muslims

Stock picture.
Stock picture.

A vigil will be held in Chesterfield for persecuted Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

The vigil will take place at Chesterfield Town Hall at 6pm on Friday. It is being organised by the Stand Up To Racism group and Chesterfield Interfaith Forum will be in attendance.

A statement by the group, the forum and the Jamia Mosque in Chesterfield said: "We watch on in horror at the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in Myanmar.

"We must come together, people of all faiths, to denounce these terrible acts.

"There can be no place for this kind of anger, hatred and violence.

"All acts of intolerance aimed at a religious community should find no place in our world.

"We call on our politicians to speak up on behalf of the Rohingya Muslims and we call on our religious leaders to condemn the violence and call for unity and peace.

"We must let our shared humanity unite us and not allow our religious differences divide us."

More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted in Buddhist-majority Rakhine state in Myanmar at the end of August.

The conflict started when Rohingya militants attacked police posts in northern Rakhine, killing 12 security personnel.

Rohingyas who have escaped Myanmar since then claim the military responded with a brutal campaign, burning villages and killing civilians.

The military insists it is responding to attacks by Rohingya militants and denies it is targeting civilians.

Rohingyas have long faced persecution in Myanmar.

Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the United Nations' high commissioner for human rights, said the current operation in Rakhine 'seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing'.