Politics, Asia - Pacific

Islamic bloc approves legal action against Myanmar

OIC agrees to seek legal course through International Court of Justice for crime committed against Rohingya

04.03.2019
Islamic bloc approves legal action against Myanmar

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh

In a major diplomatic breakthrough, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) unanimously adopted a resolution to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for establishing the legal rights of Rohingya Muslims, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said Monday.

"The resolution to pursue a legal recourse through the ICJ came after a long series of negotiations to seek accountability for crimes committed against humanity and gross violation of human rights in the case of the Rohingya in Myanmar," the minister said in a statement.

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.

The resolution was adopted in the final session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Abu Dhabi which concluded on Sunday.

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 and genocidal intent.

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