Three Muslims have been charged in Myanmar for holding Ramadan prayers in the streets where their local school was closed by a nationalist mob.
The three men were charged on Wednesday, after nearly 50 Muslims gathered to pray on a road in Yangon’s Thaketa township, where Buddhist nationalists regularly attack Muslims and their events.
An unnamed police officer confirmed the charges
Referring to the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Muslim leader Zaw Min Latt said, “We feel sorry. This month is important for us.”
“We used those schools for prayer for decades. These restrictions have been brought in after more than 60 years.”
Khin Soe, a Muslim resident, said, “It’s our mosque as well as our school. We don’t know when it will be reopened.”
Myanmar authorities issued a statement, saying the prayer session threatened “stability and the rule of law” in the area.
Back in April, two nearby Islamic schools were also shut down after ultra-nationalists complained that Muslims were illegally praying there. Authorities said the closure was temporary, but did not clarify when they may be reopened.
Myanmar, a Buddhist-dominated country, has a history of discrimination against the persecuted Rohingya Muslim community. The Rohingya Muslims have been targeted by Buddhist nationalists on numerous occasions for the last few years.