23 December 2022 –Tomorrow it will be one year since 30 people, including at least one child, were killed and their bodies burnt on a road near Moso Village, Hpruso Township. For the past year, the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar has been actively collecting and analysing information about this and other alleged serious international crimes committed across Myanmar to help ensure that the perpetrators one day face justice.
In the year since the 24 December tragedy, we have collected and analysed evidence of an array of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Myanmar, from Rakhine state in the west to Kayah in the east, including evidence of murder, rape, torture, unlawful imprisonment, and deportation or forcible transfer. The evidence concerns crimes committed over many years, including persecution of Rohingya and attacks on other minorities since 2011, to more recent events affecting almost all parts of the country. Tragically, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of deliberate or indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian locations like schools, hospitals and churches over the course of the year. Armed attacks that target civilians or indiscriminate attacks that affect civilians are prohibited by international laws of war and can be punished as war crimes or crimes against humanity.
International justice can be a slow and painstaking process. Criminal investigation requires a long-term commitment to gathering evidence. Collecting this information while it is fresh is essential to see justice served. The evidence is not meant to gather dust in an archive, but to eventually be used in a court of law where perpetrators will be prosecuted. We are already sharing evidence, with the consent of people who gave us the information, with those working on ongoing cases concerning the Rohingya at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
The Mechanism is very grateful and inspired by the courage of those individuals who come forward with information concerning the crimes that they have suffered or witnessed. The testimonies of witnesses and survivors of any crimes we are investigating, or their families, friends or colleagues, are vital for us to build criminal cases. Equally important are people with knowledge of illegal orders or policies. We encourage anyone who has information about serious international crimes in Myanmar to contact us through our secure and confidential channels.
Information on how to communicate securely and confidentially with the Mechanism can be found at https://iimm.un.org/contact-us/confidential-and-sensitive-communications/
The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM or Mechanism) was created by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018 to collect and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes and other violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. It aims to facilitate justice and accountability by preserving and organizing this evidence and preparing case files for use in future prosecutions of those responsible in national, regional and international courts. For more information visit https://iimm.un.org/ or contact [email protected]