Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Amnesty welcomes ICC ruling paving way to Myanmar probe

Amnesty welcomes ICC ruling paving way to Myanmar probe Amnesty welcomes ICC ruling paving way to Myanmar probe
Patty Aguilar | 10 September, 2018, 06:54

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.

Myanmar has "resolutely" rejected a ruling from the International Criminal Court (ICC) which said that the body had jurisdiction over alleged deportations of Rohingya to Bangladesh as a possible crime against humanity.

The global court's ruling comes amid a question of jurisdiction since Myanmar is not a member of the Hague-based court and the Rome Statute which underpins the ICC.

A statement from the office of Myanmar's President Win Myint dismissed Thursday's ICC ruling as "the result of faulty procedure and is of dubious legal merit".

A special United Nations commission on Monday recommended prosecuting senior Myanmar military officers for suspected genocide.

Myanmar has denied committing atrocities against the Rohingya, saying its military carried out justifiable actions against militants.

Myanmar has previously said it was not subject to the court's rulings since the country is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC.

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Refugees in the overcrowded, fetid Bangladeshi camps say they will not return to Myanmar without citizenship and the accompanying rights, as well as security guarantees and compensation for seized land and razed villages.

It remains imperative that we continue to seek other worldwide justice mechanisms, as well as the United Nations Security Council referral of Myanmar to the ICC for the wide array of atrocity crimes its leaders have been accused, including genocide and other crimes against humanity.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) flexed its muscles Thursday with its unprecedented ruling that it had the power to investigate the forced deportation of Rohingya to Bangladesh, even though Myanmar has not signed the statute underpinning the tribunal.

Myanmar has barred journalists and diplomats from independently visiting the conflict-hit parts of Rakhine state - except on short, military-chaperoned trips.

Indonesian journalists on Friday gathered outside the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta to protest the conviction of two Reuters journalists sentenced to seven years in prison for violating a state secrets law.

Rights groups decried the case as a sham trial in a country where press freedom has shrivelled, casting into serious doubt some of the gains of the last few years since the end of full junta rule.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, had been investigating the extrajudicial killing of Rohingya villagers when they were arrested in December a year ago.

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