Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) welcomes the decision by the UK government to support the genocide case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On 25 August, Minister for Asia Amanda Milling confirmed the UK’s intention to intervene in the case of The Gambia v. Myanmar before the International Court of Justice. The case will determine whether Myanmar has violated its obligations under the Genocide Convention in relation to the military’s acts against the Rohingya in 2016 and 2017.
“The U.K. Government decision to intervene in the case of The Gambia vs. Myanmar before the International Court of Justice sends a strong message of solidarity to the Rohingya people five years since the genocidal attacks in Rakhine State,” said Burma Human Rights Network Executive Director, Kyaw Win. “International justice can have a preventative affect and stop future atrocities by the brutal junta in Burma.” The Gambia filed the case against Burma before the ICJ in November 2019, alleging that the Myanmar military’s campaign against the Rohingya people violated various provisions of the Genocide Convention. 60 countries supported the case which included Canada, the Netherlands, the UK and all 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In January 2020, the ICJ unanimously indicated legally binding provisional measures of protection for the Rohingya people, requiring Burma to ensure that the military and other security forces do not commit acts of genocide,
Despite the provisional measures, BHRN has continued to document abuses against the Rohingya remaining in Burma. In Rakhine State, nearly 600,000 Rohingya remain trapped under a system of discriminatory laws and policies that amount to crimes against humanity and ongoing genocide. Since the attempted military coup on 1 February 2021, the human rights situation of the Rohingya has further deteriorated with Rohingya facing tightened restrictions on their fundamental freedoms and are increasingly at risk of being subjected to further atrocity crimes.
The Gambia’s laudable step towards ending impunity for those committing atrocities in Myanmar should be fully supported by the international community. Recalling that the Genocide Convention requires all States parties to prevent the crime of genocide and hold those responsible to account, BHRN calls on all States Parties to the Genocide Convention to support efforts addressing these violations. BHRN calls on the British government, as penholder on Burma at the United Nations Security Council, to convene a meeting of the Security Council to discuss progress in implementing the provisional measures. BHRN also continues to call on the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court to enable further scrutiny.
BHRN is based in London and operates across Burma/Myanmar working for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in the country. BHRN has played a crucial role in advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.
Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)
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