On Thursday, 21st June, Judges at the International Criminal Court tribunal based in The Hague, the Netherlands, have issued a deadline on July 27 for Burma to respond to a prosecutor’s request made in April that whether the ICC should exercise jurisdiction over the country’s mass deportation of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh.
About 670000 Rohingya fled their motherland in western Burma’s Arakan state during a genocidal campaign by Burma security forces aiming at the total extermination of the helpless minority group, whom Burma loathes as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
“Considering that the crime of deportation is alleged to have commenced on the territory of Myanmar, the chamber deems it appropriate to seek observations from the competent authorities of Myanmar on the prosecutor’s request,” the ICC’s decision issued on Thursday said.
The United Nations and other rights groups have accused Burma of ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide, though the government has constantly brushed aside widespread reports and credible evidence, including multiple satellite images of burned-out villages, that its soldiers committed atrocities against the Rohingya.
Zaw Htay, director general of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s office, repeated the government’s previous assertion that the ICC cannot prosecute Burma as the country is not a member of the court.
“Because Myanmar is not an ICC member, the ICC can’t do anything to Myanmar, so we have nothing to say about it,” he told RFA’s Myanmar Service on Friday, adding that the prosecutor has recognized uncertainty concerning the limits of the court’s jurisdiction.
Source: Radio Free Asia