ICC prosecutor: Judges accept basis of Rohingya probe
Sources indicate involvement of Myanmar government forces, state agents in crimes against Rohingya, says statement
A prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said the tribunal’s judges were convinced by the reasonable basis to assess the accusations of widespread crimes perpetrated by Myanmar’s state forces against ethnic Rohingya community in Rakhine state.
The judges accepted that there was "reasonable basis" to believe that since at least Oct. 9, 2016, "widespread and/or systematic acts of violence" may have been committed against the Rohingya population, including murder, imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual violence and other coercive acts, said Fatou Bensouda in a statement on Friday.
Bensouda added that these acts resulted in the large-scale deportation of the Muslim minority, and that there may have been a "state policy to attack the Rohingya population".
She said there were "many sources indicating the heavy involvement of several Myanmar government forces and other state agents, and that members of the Myanmar armed forces jointly with other Myanmar security forces and with some participation of local civilians, may have committed these crimes" against Rohingya.
In the statement, Bensouda assured that the ICC prosecution would also inspect the activities of the alleged Rohingya insurgency group, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
On Nov. 14, judges at the ICC approved a prosecution request to investigate crimes against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, though Myanmar had since rejected the international court's jurisdiction on the matter.
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. Bangladesh currently houses over 1.2 million members of the persecuted people.
Bangladesh is a member state of the ICC, while Myanmar, which is not a party to the Rome Statute, has been accused of committing widespread abuses against Rohingya.
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).Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.