UN expert calls for Myanmar to be brought before ICC

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Editor : Tevfik Sayraç

Special rapporteur also seeks targeted sanctions on country's military-run companies and officials

UN expert calls for Myanmar to be brought before ICC

The UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar has called on the Security Council to refer the situation there to the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

“The entire situation in Myanmar must be referred to the International Criminal Court or an international tribunal [must be] established to ensure justice for the people of Myanmar,” Yanghee Lee said Wednesday at a press briefing at the UN General Assembly in New York.

“I remain resolute in my belief that it is not safe for Rohingya refugees [in Bangladesh] to return to Myanmar until the fundamental circumstances leading to their expulsion are remedied,” Lee said.

Lee also called for targeted sanctions to be imposed on the country's military-run companies and officials responsible for serious human rights violations against the Rohingya.

“Economic interests must not be pursued at the expense of human rights,” she added.

-‘Serious violations’

“Serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law have been committed” in Myanmar, Marzuki Darusman, head of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, said at the same briefing.

“Myanmar is failing in its obligations under the Genocide Convention to prevent, to investigate and to enact effective legislation criminalizing and punishing genocide,” he said.

The Mission found that crimes under international law continue to be committed by Myanmar’s armed forces, the Tatmadaw, said Darusman.

“This confirms our previous conclusion that the cycle of impunity enables, and indeed fuels, this reprehensible conduct on the part of the security forces,” he added.

The persecution of the Rohingya community in Myanmar relentlessly continues and this makes the return of close to one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh “simply impossible,” Darusman noted.

- Persecuted people

According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.

Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).

More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."

Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.

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