Burma Campaign UK Welcomes New Universal Jurisdiction And ICJ Genocide Cases

Burma Campaign UK welcomes the filing in an Argentinian court today of a case of genocide against the military and government in Burma, under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

The case has been brought by the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, supported by Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo) and the Foundation for Peace and Justice (Fundación Servicio Paz y Justicia), two leading Latin American human rights organisations. They are represented by Tomás Ojea Quintana, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Burma.

Burma Campaign UK also welcomes the filing of a case of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by the government of Gambia, on behalf of the 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. Burma Campaign UK calls on the British government to support the case of genocide against Burma at the ICJ.

With the failure of the United Nations Security Council to do its duty to refer Burma to the International Criminal Court (ICC), it is vital that other legal avenues are pursued to secure justice and accountability. They have a vital role to play in helping to erode the sense of impunity enjoyed by the Burmese military, and help prevent further atrocities.

However, both these legal cases relate only to crimes against the Rohingya, and not the crimes being committed by the military against other ethnic groups in Burma. The military must also be held accountable for these crimes, which is why a Security Council referral to the ICC or creation of an Ad Hoc Tribunal is essential.

“These legal cases will help put the military on notice that they cannot continue to evade justice and accountability for their crimes,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “The British government must now support the genocide case at the International Court of Justice.”

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