World Bulletin / News Desk
Yangon authorities on Friday sued three Muslim men for holding Ramadan prayers in the street, after the local school where they used to worship was shut down by a nationalist mob.
Two nearby Islamic schools were shuttered in late April after ultra-nationalists complained local Muslims were illegally using them to conduct prayers.
Authorities have said the closure is temporary, but given no timeline for when they may be reopened.
"We feel sorry. This month is important for us," local Muslim leader Zaw Min Latt told AFP, referring to the holy month of Ramadan which began last week.
"We used those schools for prayer for decades. These restrictions have been brought in after more than 60 years."
Local authorities issued a statement saying the prayer session threatened "stability and the rule of law" in the mainly Muslim neighbourhood in the east of Myanmar's commercial capital.
A policeman who asked not to be named confirmed the charges.
Two officers tried to stop AFP journalists from filming when they visited one of the madrassas on Friday.
"It's our mosque as well as our school. We don't know when it will be reopened," Khin Soe, a local resident in his 50s, said as he set off to pray in another part of town.
The case comes as Myanmar's government has been seeking to clamp down on hate speech after a spike in anti-Muslim actions by hardliners from the country's Buddhist majority.
Religious tensions have soared since a group of Rohingya Muslims attacked police posts in Rakhine State in October, sparking a bloody military crackdown that has drawn widespread international condemnation.
Last week Myanmar's top Buddhist authority officially banned the Ma Ba Tha, an ultra-nationalist movement affiliated with firebrand cleric Wirathu, which responded by simply changing its name.
The move came after nationalists this month clashed with Muslims in another Muslim neighbourhood in Yangon, after pushing police to raid a house there in search of illegal Rohingya Muslim hideouts.
Merkel’s spokesman: Deal has significantly decreased deaths in Aegean, improved conditions of millions of Syrian refugees
EU nationals arriving in UK during transition will receive same rights as those living already there, says EU official
Mosque belonging to Muslim-Turkish association IGMG firebombed amid threats by terrorist PYD/PKK group
Phone call between two leaders comes amid flurry of diplomatic activity in region
EA19's exports and imports rise 9.1 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, year-on-year in January
Anna Campbell becomes first British female terrorist to die in Syria
Culture and tourism minister says Turkey's ongoing Afrin operation will not affect tourism
Ibrahim Kalin says there is still work to do in Afrin, where Turkish troops and Syrian fighters took control on Sunday
The French Embassy in Tel Aviv says it was taking the case 'very seriously'
Micro Focus warned in a statement that year-on-year revenues had fallen by more than anticipated since January, sending its shares slumping 55.88 percent to 831.40 pence.
Klimkin's comments came after a similar call by the Wall Street Journal in an editorial on Friday.
The ISIL terrorist was responsible for taking by force houses of security members in Mosul
20 Pakistanis in truck in Edirne province close to Greek border held by gendarmes
The release of the three Korean-Americans is under discussion through multiple channels more than a week after President Donald Trump agreed to meet the North's Kim Jong Un, the reports said.
Although Saudi Arabia appears to be on brink of radical change, closer look at reform process reveals MBS is after power consolidation
Economy minister: Ankara 'absolutely' against Russia's limit on number of companies importing Turkish tomatoes