International Criminal Court Opens Door to a Rohingya Inquiry
In a surprise ruling, judges at the International Criminal Court mentioned Thursday that they could exercise jurisdiction to investigate the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from their homes in Myanmar as a crime against humanity.
The judges&rsquo 2-to-1 decision opened a path toward feasible accountability for ferocious attacks by safety forces on civilians that began a year ago and brought on immense suffering as some 700,000 men, woman and children struggled to cross the waterlogged border into Bangladesh.
A current United Nations report described the campaign as genocide, with an estimated 10,000 deaths it presented harrowing accounts of gang rapes and the widespread destruction of villages.
Regardless of an international outcry, the campaign by Myanmar&rsquos army was carried out with impunity as the country&rsquos civilian leaders declined to criticize the violence. To this day, Myanmar&rsquos de facto leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has refused to hold the nation&rsquos military leaders accountable.
The ruling came in response to a request by the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, who argued that despite the fact that Myanmar was not a member of the court, the crime continued into Bangladesh, which is a member.
Two of the three judges efficiently encouraged the prosecutor by expanding her jurisdiction to consist of connected crimes such as persecution and inhumane acts, as effectively as deportation. They urged her to act swiftly.
The court&rsquos involvement in this case raises complicated legal troubles. A single judge declined to endorse the ruling, arguing that the court&rsquos job was not to give advisory opinions.
But the choice drew wide approval from legal specialists and human rights groups.
&ldquoThis is bold and innovative,&rdquo stated William Schabas, professor of international law at Middlesex University in London. &ldquoIt offers the court the chance to engage with one of the wonderful crises of the day and it&rsquos also a very robust message to the prosecutor. The judges are telling her to move forward with it.&rdquo
A single legal expert mentioned that this provided a new path, provided that Myanmar refuses to cooperate in any international investigation into the flights and the reported killings and mass rape of the Rohingya.
The United Nations Security Council has not addressed the question of holding Myanmar&rsquos leaders accountable, and Myanmar&rsquos close ally, China, would be anticipated to block any moves to refer the Rohingya crisis to the court.
&ldquoThis ruling is enormously substantial given that, until now, this is the only route towards a measure of accountability,&rdquo mentioned Alex Whiting, professor of international law at Harvard University. &ldquoThere will be wonderful challenges, but a challenge in itself is not a reason not to act.&rdquo
An independent United Nations&rsquo truth-discovering mission in August wrote that Myanmar&rsquos military carried out atrocities that amounted to &ldquogenocidal intent,&rdquo and it cited six military commanders who should be prosecuted for genocide.
Published at Fri, 07 Sep 2018 01:30:23 +0000