Myanmar's state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and country’s army commanders must be held criminally accountable for crimes committed against Rohingya Muslims, seven Nobel peace laureates said in a statement.
"We call on Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, to publicly acknowledge the crimes, including genocide, committed against the Rohingya,” said the statement published on the website of Nobel Women’s Initiative.
The Nobel laureates who called for Suu Kyi’s accountability are Shirin Ebadi, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Jody Williams, and Kailash Satyarthi.
"We are deeply concerned that instead of condemning these crimes, Aung San Suu Kyi is actively denying that these atrocities even occurred," the statement said.
Myanmar faces a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) filed by West African country Gambia, with the support of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, for atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in the country over the past several years.
The proceedings will start on Tuesday and Suu Kyi is expected to appear before the court.
“We commend The Gambia for taking this step to hold Myanmar responsible for the genocide against the Rohingya and for advancing justice for the victims of these crimes,” the statement said.
It noted that the International Criminal Court announced that it will be investigating crimes committed against Rohingya just days after Gambia filed complaint at the ICJ.
"As people of peace, we urge Aung San Suu Kyi to address the systematic discrimination of the Rohingya in Rakhine State, and ensure the Rohingya’s right to nationality, land ownership, freedom of movement and other fundamental rights," the Nobel peace laureates said.
Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim community in Rakhine state of Myanmar, has long been facing systematic persecution and genocide by the military, according to several UN reports.
Amnesty International said that 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, pushing the number of persecuted people in Bangladesh above 1.2 million.
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.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.