By Susan Kendi
Criminal Court (ICC) has authorized the prosecutor to proceed with the
investigation in Bangladesh and Myanmar for the alleged crimes against the
This comes three days
after the Gambia filed a genocide case against Myanmar before the International
Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday, November 11, 2019, on the ongoing abuses
against the Rohingya.
Gambia’s legal action triggers a judicial process before the world’s highest
court that could determine that Myanmar’s atrocities against the Rohingya
violate the Genocide Convention,” said Param-Preet Singh, associate international
justice director at Human Rights Watch.
1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide allows member
states that are party to the convention to bring a dispute before ICJ in case
another country breaks the convention, requesting provisional measures to be
instituted to stop ongoing abuses.
has been a party to the Genocide Convention since 1956.
The first Genocide convention
case was filed against Serbia in March 20, 1993.Bosnia accused
Serbia for having “masterminded a
genocide during the Bosnian war of 1992-1995.”
against the Rohingya people have been reported since 2012 but rose to a new
level on August 2017 when there was a “clearance operation” targeting to deport
the remaining Rohingya across the border to Bangladesh.
to a submission made by the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, Myanmar security forces collaborated with other
individuals to attack the Rohingya population in a “well-organised, coordinated
and systematic” manner especially in Rakhine state, with an intention of
driving the population out of the country.
The alleged attacks entail
killings, rape, torture, and enforced disappearances, destruction and looting
of hundreds of villages, as well as livestock, crops and other personal
property. The perpetrators seem to have targeted in particular people and
objects representing the cultural and religious identity of the Rohingya.
The Rohingya minority has suffered years of
persecution within Myanmar which includes the stripping of their Myanmar
citizenship and other fundamental rights.
Bangladesh is a party to the Rome Statute but
Myanmar is not.
September 11, 2017
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights describes the Rohingya crisis as “a
textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, and according to the UN Special Envoy
for human rights in Myanmar, potentially bears the “hallmarks of a
April 9, 2018
ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda seeks a ruling on whether the Court may
exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from
Myanmar to Bangladesh.
argued that irrespective of Myanmar not being a party to the Rome Statute, the
Court may still exercise jurisdiction because the deportation occurred across
the international border into Bangladesh which is a party to the Rome Statute.
to the court record, consistent and credible public reports reviewed by the
prosecution revealed that since August 2017 more than 670,000 Rohingya,
lawfully present in Myanmar, have been intentionally deported across the
international border into Bangladesh.
May 7, 2018
president of the Pre-Trial Division assigns the request
to the chamber, which then invites the competent authorities of Bangladesh
to submit written observations by June 11, 2018 on the Prosecutor’s
May 29 to June 14, 2018
chamber allows certain individuals and organisations to submit their amici curiae
observations on the prosecutor’s request.
September 6, 2018
International Criminal Court in 2-1 decision rules that it may exercise
jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar
50 page decision with one judge dissenting, the
majority explain that although
Myanmar is not a state party of the Rome Statute, deportation begins in a non-state
party by use of force or threats and completed by crossing a border into a
state that is a treaty signatory, Bangladesh.
September 20, 2018
Canada’s parliament (House
of Commons) in a unanimous vote declare the ethnic cleansing against the
Rohingya as an act of genocide.
April 13, 2018
Government of Myanmar issues a statement stressing that it is not a party to
the Rome Statute.
in the ICC charter does it say that the court has jurisdiction over states
which have not accepted that jurisdiction. The UN Vienna Convention on
international treaties states that no treaty can be imposed on a country that
has not ratified it.”
August 9, 2018
Myanmar government refuses to respond to the prosecutor’s request citing several concerns such as bad faith,
irregularities on procedure and the lack of fairness and transparency on the
July 4, 2019
seeks permission from the Pre-trial Chamber Judges to proceed with the
investigation into the Bangladesh and Myanmar for crimes committed since
October 9, 2016.
September 16, 2019
the 42 nd session of the Human Rights Council, the detailed findings of the Independent
International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar were presented.
situation of the Rohingya in Rakhine State has remained largely unchanged since
last year… The Government of Myanmar has made no progress towards addressing
the underlying structural discrimination against the Rohingya by amending the
discriminatory laws, including the 1982 Citizenship Law… “the findings stated.
laws, policies and practices that formed the basis of the Government’s
persecution against the Rohingya have been maintained…Rohingya remain the
target of a Government attack aimed at erasing the identity and removing them
November 11, 2019
files a genocide case against Myanmar before ICJ as a violation of the 1948
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide which they are
both parties to.
November 14, 2019
ICC Judges authorise
the prosecutor to proceed with the investigation in Bangladesh and Myanmar for
the alleged crimes against the Rohingya people.