Russia detain scores of pro-Rohingya protesters in St Petersburg

Russia detain scores of pro-Rohingya protesters in St Petersburg
Russian police have arrested around 100 Muslim protesters in St. Petersburg, due to an 'unlicensed' demonstration against government abuses of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.
2 min read
10 September, 2017
Protests such as this one have been held outside Myanmar's embassy in Moscow [Anadolu]

Russian police detained dozens of protesters in St. Petersburg on Sunday, as a crowd of 200 Muslims demonstrated against abuses of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

Police surrounded the city centre squre where the demonstration took place and arrested around 100 protesters. 

"Our brothers are being detained! Why are Muslims always to blame, why are they detaining us?" one protester shouted.

"Why can't we express ourselves," complained another protester. "We are worried about what is happening with our brothers in Myanmar."

Nearly 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Myanmar for Bangladesh, escaping what they say are state-orchestrated mass killings.

Russia's Muslims stage several protests, particularly after a call by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Thousands protested in Chechnya's main city Grozny last week as Kadyrov called on Moscow to "stop this bloodshed".

It was a rare criticism of the Moscow government by the Chechen who has been a staunch loyalist of President Vladimir Putin.

Putin has remained largely silent on the issue. "We're against any sort of violence," Putin said Tuesday when asked about Kadyrov's position, adding that "any person has a right to his opinion regardless of his post".

Russia and Myanmar are also allies who signed a military cooperation agreement last year, with Moscow of having exported military aircraft and artillery to the country.