Thursday 23rd January
International Human Rights NGO Legal Action Worldwide has welcomed the resounding decision by the International Court of Justice to order provisional measures to protect Rohingya in Myanmar from an “ongoing genocide.”
“The court’s decision is clear: the Rohingya in Myanmar are at risk and must be protected,” said LAW Executive Director, Antonia Mulvey.
Last year, The Gambia accused Myanmar of violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention. It referred to the ongoing atrocities against the Rohingya perpetrated by the Myanmar military and other security forces.
These crimes have been documented by UN reports like the Independent Fact Finding Mission.
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled across the border to safety in Bangladesh. Conservative estimates place the death toll at 10,000 women, men and children.
The International Court of Justice says 600,000 Rohingya still live in Myanmar.
In December last year, The Gambia asked the court to order provisional measures for Myanmar to stop its military committing genocidal acts including murder, rape and destruction of homes and villages.
It also asked judges to order Myanmar to preserve any evidence of atrocities and allow independent investigators access to these sites.
Today, the court has upheld The Gambia’s request.
Last year, Legal Action Worldwide partnered with the international community to help three Rohingya survivors travel to The Hague to bear witness to the trial.
“Today is an acknowledgement of the trauma suffered by Rohingya like Hamida Khatun, Hasina Begum and Yousef Ali,” Ms Mulvey said.
Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi attended the trial at The Hague. While acknowledgeing that some mistakes were made by the military, she denied that genocide had occurred.
“Aung San Suu Kyi must be help to account by the international community for refusing to stop or acknowledge the most serious crimes against her own citizens.”
“I call on Myanmar to uphold the court’s decision today and allow further investigation of crimes carried out by their military in 2017.”