For Immediate Release: 18 December 2020
The UK government must immediately put its full support behind international justice efforts to end the genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar, the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) said today after more than 100 Parliamentarians called on the government to take action.
In an open letter to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab today, 104 UK Parliamentarians from across political parties called on the UK to formally join The Gambia’s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Myanmar. The letter was coordinated by Rushanara Ali MP and former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, the Co-chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rights of the Rohingya.
“The UK must take this opportunity to show real moral authority and stand on the right side of history regarding the Rohingya’s plight. We urge the government to immediately join The Gambia’s case at the ICJ and show Myanmar that the world stands united against genocide,” said Tun Khin President of BROUK.
“We thank the more than 100 British Parliamentarians who today stood up for the Rohingya people today, in particular Rushanara Ali and Jeremy Hunt for their leadership. We hope that the government answers will now finally join the case.”
The Rohingya people have been subjected to a genocide in Myanmar for decades. A pre-panned military offensive in 2017 drove hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee for their lives into Bangladesh, while most of those who remain in Rakhine State live in detention camps.
In November 2019, The Gambia brought a case against Myanmar for violating the Genocide Convention to the International Court of Justice. In January 2020, the ICJ imposed provisional measures that ordered Myanmar to end genocidal practices against the Rohingya. Recent research by BROUK clearly shows that the genocide is very much ongoing in Rakhine State. Myanmar is ignoring the Court Orders.
In September, the governments of the Netherlands and Canada said they were planning to make a formal intervention in the case. This was welcomed by Rohingya as a move that would lend both political and moral backing to the proceedings in the Hague.
Last week, 36 Rohingya groups issued a joint statement calling on the UK government to follow the example of Canada and the Netherlands and also join the ICJ case.
“An intervention by the UK in the ICJ case would be invaluable. It would substantially add pressure on the government of Myanmar and help bring about the ultimate goal of providing justice for the Rohingya women, men and children who have suffered for decades,” said Tun Khin.
“Those responsible for horrific crimes against the Rohingya must face a court of law – justice is the only way to break this cycle of genocidal violence. Since Myanmar has shown it is both unwilling and unable to hold its own security forces to account, the world must step in.”
For more information please contact Tun Khin +44 7888714866.