Bangladesh welcomes ICC ruling on Rohingya abuse probe
ICC team is scheduled to visit Bangladesh in March for preliminary examination of atrocities on Rohingya Muslims
By Md. Kamruzzaman
The Bangladeshi premier on Friday welcomed the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to send a team next month for preliminary examination of the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims, state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency reported.
Sheikh Hasina assured of all possible support to the team following a meeting with ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque told journalists at a briefing.
The foreign secretary said the ICC team will visit Bangladesh in the beginning of March.
Speaking about legal proceedings on the issues, Bensouda said the ICC has already brought the Rohingya issue under its jurisdiction and set up a court for the trial of perpetrators.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, have fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled "Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience."
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
The UN has also documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – brutal beatings and disappearances committed by Myanmar state forces.
In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.