By Aziz Aslan
A Turkish lawyer on Thursday filed a criminal complaint against several Myanmar officials on charges of committing genocide against Rohingya Muslims and crimes against humanity in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
Lawyer Hasan Bozdas submitted the complaint against 22 high-ranking officials of the southeast Asian nation to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, also accusing them of other crimes to be revealed after investigations.
The complaint gave details about the timeline about the crimes against humanity committed in Rakhine state.
It also cited a report of the United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR) and a ruling of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC on Tuesday launched a preliminary investigation into the crimes committed by Myanmar against the Rohingya people.
According to ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, her office has received a number of communications and reports alleging crimes since the end of 2017.
The preliminary examination will be made on the forced displacement of the Rohingya people, including the deprivation of their fundamental rights as well as killing, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, destruction and looting, the prosecutor added.
Nearly 24,000 Rohingya killed
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, entitled 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 houses were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
According to Human Rights Watch, more than 650,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape mass killings, sexual violence, arson, and other abuses amounting to crimes against humanity by the security forces.
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 UN has 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.