Imprisonment, torture and rape: Why Myanmar have to be referred to the ICC


The mission’s exhaustive report defines human rights violations and abuses dedicated in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states as “surprising for his or her horrifying nature and ubiquity” and requires the investigation and prosecution of senior army officers for genocide, warfare crimes, and crimes in opposition to humanity.

This report particulars what we heard and witnessed immediately from Rohingya girls once we traveled to the refugee camps of Kutapalong and Thyankhali in Bangladesh, in February this yr: they and their communities have skilled homicide, imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture, rape and sexual slavery and different types of sexual violence; persecution and enslavement.

Extra particularly, the report highlights the function and culpability of Commander-in-Chief Senior-Common Min Aung Hlaing; and makes it clear that these systematic crimes adopted a transparent chain of command from probably the most senior ranges of the Myanmar army.

The UN report highlights what the Rohingya folks have been yelling from the rooftops: the present Rohingya disaster is greater than a humanitarian disaster. It importantly underscores that there’s enough info to warrant the investigation and prosecution of senior officers within the Tatmadaw chain of command “so {that a} competent courtroom can decide their legal responsibility for genocide.”

Essentially the most pressing query going through the worldwide neighborhood now’s the way it will reply to the UN mission’s clear and unequivocal name for justice.

Because the report makes clear, it’s pressing to refer Myanmar to the Worldwide Legal Courtroom, and to arrange for this referral by establishing clear, neutral mechanisms to doc, acquire and analyze proof for prison prosecution.

Over the previous tragic months, the worldwide neighborhood has been undecided about an ICC referral, largely as a result of Myanmar isn’t a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the courtroom.

The ICC, nonetheless, solved this authorized dilemma by a landmark ruling on Thursday, September 6, when it decided that the courtroom may in reality train jurisdiction over the alleged crime of deportation of the Rohingyas from Myanmar.

The worldwide neighborhood should now do its half and refer Myanmar authorities to the Worldwide Legal Courtroom. Regardless of the present quite a few criticisms on the Courtroom, it stays the one authorized mechanism to prosecute such crimes, and was designed for this very goal.

Additionally it is the one avenue for victims of mass crimes, whose voices are too typically left unheard in decision-making circles and whose struggling will be rapidly buried beneath political debate.

Most significantly, the worldwide neighborhood can neither help nor belief Myanmar authorities to ship justice to its personal victims.

As an alternative of prosecuting army authorities accountable for the atrocities, the newly launched “Impartial Fee of Enquiry,” supported by Myanmar’s de facto chief Aung San Suu Kyi as a neighborhood various to justice, simply sentenced Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for exposing proof of a Rohingya bloodbath in Rakhine.

It might be extremely unrealistic to count on the identical authorities to prosecute perpetrators, lots of whom are army officers.

Throughout our go to in Bangladesh, we met with over 100 girls who had survived persecution in Myanmar. Some may barely stroll as a consequence of their accidents, and needed to be carried by others. Others had watched their complete households massacred earlier than their eyes.

Impunity is deeply entrenched in Myanmar, and because the girls informed us, the perpetrators confirmed no concern of reprisal by their superiors; it was, in reality, their superiors who ordered the systematic rape of girls and women and the homicide of their households.

Aung San Suu Kyi admits Rohingya crisis 'could have been handled better'

They lived in unimaginable trauma, however shared one unanimous and clear message: their need for justice. They needed to guarantee that perpetrators had been held to account, and that this may not occur once more.

We each know, coming from international locations deeply affected by gross abuses of human rights, that impunity anyplace on this planet fuels and emboldens brutal dictatorships and perpetrators of crimes in opposition to humanity. Worldwide failure to forestall and reply to genocide has deep and lasting repercussions to peace and safety globally.

The significance of holding perpetrators to account for genocide and crimes in opposition to humanity — together with sexual violence — extends far past the borders of the involved international locations.

We consider that justice and accountability are one of the crucial highly effective deterrents for potential perpetrators and future atrocities. This might not be extra pressing within the face of at the moment’s rise of authoritarian and brutal regimes.

Solely a reputable, goal course of that takes real steps to prosecute and maintain these accountable to account, will finish the federal government’s vicious cycle of violence in opposition to its personal folks, notably ethnic and non secular minorities, and create the circumstances by which a steady, inclusive and peaceable Myanmar can emerge.

Rohingya survivors count on no much less of us.

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