Lawyers have filed a private case against Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, over the treatment of Rohingya in Melbourne, Australia – while she attends the Asean summit in Sydney.
According to The Guardian
, the case against Suu Kyi was filed on Friday in the Melbourne magistrates court on charges of crimes against humanity for the deportation or forcible transfer of a population in relation to widespread and ongoing human rights abuses inside Myanmar.
The news outlet adds that the private prosecution application faces significant barriers to proceeding – a universal jurisdiction prosecution in Australia requires the consent of the attorney general.
The Guardian also adds that the application is being assessed by the court, a response is expected next week, and a formal request has also been sent to the office of the attorney general, Christian Porter, asking him to consider consenting to the prosecution proceeding.
It is unlikely Porter would consent to Suu Kyi’s prosecution, The Guardian reports.
Suu Kyi is expected in Sydney this weekend for the Asean-Australia special summit, at the invitation of the Australian government.
According to The Guardian, a statement from the legal team said there were “widespread and credible eyewitness reports … of extensive and systematic crimes against the Muslim Rohingyan [sic] population by the Myanmar security forces, including extra-judicial killings, disappearances, violence, rape, unlawful detention, and destruction of property and whole villages. Ms Suu Kyi has denied these events have occurred.
“It is alleged that Ms Suu Kyi has failed to use her position of authority and power, and, as such, has permitted the Myanmar security forces to deport and forcibly remove Rohingya from their homes.”
Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have been driven from northern Rakhine state into Bangladesh by Myanmar army operations that started since August 25 last year.