Asia - Pacific

Lack of access to Myanmar impedes investigation, says ICC prosecutor

At end of 4-day visit to Bangladesh, Karim Khan promises to ensure justice for Rohingya genocide survivors

SM Najmus Sakib  | 07.07.2023 - Update : 07.07.2023
Lack of access to Myanmar impedes investigation, says ICC prosecutor

DHAKA, Bangladesh

The lack of access to Myanmar to investigate the alleged genocide crimes against Rohingya hinders investigation, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan said Friday.

“[..] I have access to Ukraine but I didn’t have one in Myanmar. And, that has a quite big difference on the ability to document, collect evidence and what took place,” he said speaking to reporters in Dhaka at the end of his four-day visit to Bangladesh.

A 10-member delegation led by Khan met Rohingya men and women, including genocide survivors, to collect information about the situation in Myanmar.

The ICC back in 2019 approved a full investigation into alleged crimes of genocide against the Rohingya people committed in Myanmar.

“There was a gap between promises and international delivery of justice,” he said, promising to speed up the investigation.

“I gave a commitment to the Rohingya,” he said, adding that he will come again next year to hear from the Rohingya.

Khan deplored that the persecuted Rohingya have spent the last six years in refugee camps, yet no action has been taken against the Myanmar military responsible for the crimes.

At least five Rohingya men were killed in a deadly gun battle in Cox’s Bazar on Friday, while another died while moving to give testimony to the ICC in Cox's Bazar on Thursday, police confirmed to Anadolu.

The killing coincided with Khan's visit to the refugee camp.

However, Khan denied the killings were linked to ICC's investigation.

He urged the global community to increase funding for the persecuted community, saying their welfare was not just the responsibility of the Bangladesh government.

Nearly 1.2 million Rohingya are living in Bangladesh, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Rakhine in August 2017. While the majority are still in overcrowded camps in southern Cox’s Bazar district, around 30,000 have been shifted to the island of Bhasan Char since late 2020.

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