The European Rohingya Council (ERC) on Friday "strongly condemned" Aung San Suu Kyi for her statements at an international court seeking to defend the military's crimes against minority Muslims in northern Rakhine state.
Neglecting the world's call for justice for the Rohingya, who faced a brutal military crackdown in 2017, State Counsellor Suu Kyi, a 1991 Nobel peace laureate, defended the military at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday, undermining her claim to the prize.
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.
The ERC said in a written statement that Suu Kyi has "yet again failed to acknowledge the graves crimes committed by the military under her watch."
"She has also shown the world that she prioritises her political position over human rights, justice and accountability," the statement said.
"Having failed to mention the term Rohingya during her statements at the International Court of Justice, she and her legal team have failed to offer any signs of justice and accountability, instead she has provided denial, defense and whitewashing of crimes of genocide being committed by Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Myanmar Military," it added.
The statement underlined that Suu Kyi showed the world that "once again she has failed in her leadership and moral responsibility."
The ERC also urged the international community to support the genocide case at the ICJ, as well as acknowledged support of the of Gambia, Canada, the Netherlands and Myanmar’s ethnic communities and human rights organizations in the "path for justice and accountability".
Last month, Gambia filed a genocide lawsuit against Myanmar at the UN’s highest court, a move termed as “historic achievement” by the Rohingya community, the first three-day hearing of which has been concluded Thursday at the ICJ in the Hague.
Hailing Gambia for strong leadership in the fight for justice, the ERC said: "It is the west African nation standing tall amidst the silence of international justice and accountability of genocide against Rohingya."
Noting that the path to justice and accountability in Myanmar is every nation’s morally-bound responsibility, the council called countries with "a clear conscience towards human rights and justice" to join the move of Gambia, Canada and the Netherlands.
It stressed Bangladesh, the country which hosts Rohingya refugees "shouldering the burden of shelters and keeping hope intact", has also shown great resilience for the case.
The ERC urged European countries and nations across the world to support Gambia along with the other two countries toward the genocide case filed against Myanmar for justice and accountability "as provisional measures to prevent and end the genocide reach a critical point," and called on international NGOs and human rights organizations to keep momentum in the case.
According to Amnesty International, more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, fled Myanmar and crossed into Bangladesh after Myanmar forces launched a crackdown on the minority Muslim community in August 2017, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.
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.
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