International Criminal Court Continues Rohingya Genocide Trials

Photo: Anadolu Agency

The Hague, MINA – The International Criminal Court (ICJ) continues the trial of the Rohingya genocide case in The Hague, Netherlands against the Myanmar authorities, the junta currently ruling in the Southeast Asian country.

Myanmar, which is accused of genocide against the Muslim-majority Rohingya community, filed its objections before a judge at the ICJ, Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday.

The ICJ tried the case brought by Gambia in November 2019, accusing Myanmar of violating the Genocide Convention in its brutal crackdown on the Rohingya community.

However, following the deadly military coup in Myanmar last year in February, activists have expressed concern whether a trial of the ICJ by the junta regime will give it legitimacy.

Until February 27, for four days, ICJ judges will hear the junta government’s objections to the court’s demands.

Presiding Judge Joan Donoghue said the parties in cases before the court were states, not specific governments.

Ko Ko Hlaing, the junta’s minister for international cooperation, said the military government wanted to cooperate with the judges.

“In arguing that the courts have no jurisdiction or that the case is inadmissible, Myanmar is therefore not seeking to obstruct the judicial process. Instead it seeks to answer the proper administration of justice. Myanmar has respectfully filed this initial objection to the courts,” he said.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya were killed and thousands of women and girls raped when Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the Muslim minority community in Rakhine state in August 2017.

More than 1.2 million Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the most persecuted people in the world, have been forced to leave Myanmar and continue to live in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

The progress of the case brought by Gambia against Myanmar for violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide has been slow.

In January 2020, the ICJ imposed “temporary measures”, ordering an end to genocidal practices against the Rohingya.

Myanmar was previously represented in the case by former State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi, who was ousted in a coup and has been jailed by the junta on various charges.

The military takeover has sparked mass protests in Myanmar, where junta forces have killed more than 1,500 people in a crackdown on dissent, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)