• Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

ICC to probe Myanmar crimes against Rohingya

  • Published at 10:19 am September 19th, 2018
File photo: This photograph taken on September 12, 2017 shows Rohingya refugees arriving by boat at Shah Parir Dwip on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River after fleeing violence in Myanmar <strong>AFP</strong>
File photo: This photograph taken on September 12, 2017 shows Rohingya refugees arriving by boat at Shah Parir Dwip on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River after fleeing violence in Myanmar AFP

Over 700,000 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh fleeing the violence which erupted in Myanmar on August 25, 2017

The International Criminal Court's prosecutor opened a preliminary probe on Tuesday into Myanmar's alleged crimes against Rohingya Muslims, including killings, sexual violence and forced deportations.

Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will look at whether there is enough evidence to warrant a full investigation into Myanmar's military crackdown which has seen some 700,000 people flee into neighbouring Bangladesh.

The move comes nearly two weeks after judges ruled that even though Myanmar has not signed up to the Hague-based ICC, the court still has jurisdiction over crimes against the Rohingya because Bangladesh is a member.

"I have decided to proceed to the next phase of the process and to carry out a full-fledged preliminary examination of the situation at hand," Bensouda said in a statement.

Bensouda said the initial probe "may take into account a number of alleged coercive acts having resulted in the forced displacement of the Rohingya people, including deprivation of fundamental rights, killing, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, destruction and looting."

She said she would also consider whether other crimes would apply to the plight of the Rohingya "such as the crimes of persecution and other inhumane acts."

A preliminary examination can lead to a formal investigation by the ICC - which was set up in 2002 to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity - and then possible indictments.

The ICC announcement came on the same day as UN investigators said that Myanmar's army had used "hard to fathom" levels of violence against the Rohingya and should be prosecuted for genocide.

The UN fact-finding mission also repeated suggestions that crimes against the Rohingya be referred to the ICC.

'Avenue to justice' 

Rights group Amnesty International said it was "great that the International Criminal Court has opened this important avenue to justice for the Rohingya.”

"Keep the momentum going - the UN Security Council needs to refer the situation in Myanmar to the ICC to ensure it can investigate all crimes under international law," the group said on Twitter.

Myanmar's army has denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to root out Rohingya insurgents who staged deadly raids on border posts in August 2017.

It has also "resolutely" rejected the ICC's assertion that it has jurisdiction over the crime, saying that the decision was in "manifest bad faith" and was of "dubious legal merit."

The Myanmar probe is a major advance for the ICC, which has so far largely focused on investigations into African conflicts and lacks the support of key countries including the United States, Russia, China and Israel.

The ICC recently faced threats and criticism from US National Security Advisor John Bolton over the possibility of a war crimes investigation into US actions in Afghanistan.

Bolton said the court was "already dead to us" and its judges could face US sanctions.

The court hit back at Bolton, saying that it would "continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law."

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail