Gambia submits case against Myanmar for Rohingya genocide
Published: 05:36 PM, 24 October 2020 Updated: 05:37 PM, 24 October 2020
The Gambia on Friday filed a more than 500-page Memorial, which also includes more than 5000 pages of supporting material, in its lawsuit against Myanmar at the ICJ in The Hague, making its case for how the Government of Myanmar is responsible for genocide against Rohingya.
The Government of Myanmar should immediately comply with International Court of Justice (ICJ) orders to prevent ongoing acts of genocide and preserve evidence of genocide against Rohingya Muslims, said Fortify Rights.
“Today is another step towards justice for Rohingya,” said Matthew Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Fortify Rights.
“International accountability mechanisms, like the ICJ, are crucial, especially given that mass atrocity crimes continue against Rohingya and others in Myanmar.”
Currently, 860,000 Rohingya refugees are living in settlements across Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. Most of them, some 740,000, fled from Myanmar during the most recent displacement crisis in 2017. Other countries in the region host some 150,000 Rohingya refugees. An estimated 600,000 live in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The United Nations has called the Myanmar government's crackdown on terrorism "genocide." On November 11, 2019, Gambia filed a lawsuit against Myanmar in the ICJ. The UN High Court is currently hearing allegations of "genocide" against Myanmar's military.
Following a preliminary hearing in the case, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a rule ordering Myanmar to take temporary measures to prevent genocide in Rakhine State. After Gambia's initial application, the ICJ received several pieces of evidence in support of the case. Based on this, the court issued the interim order to Myanmar and agreed to take the case forward. In this context, the Gambia submitted a full application.
Following today’s filing by the Gambia, the Government of Myanmar has three months to file a Counter-Memorial at the ICJ in response to The Gambia’s genocide allegations.
The Memorial and Counter-Memorial will not be made public for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last several years.
Today, Fortify Rights released an animated explainer on international accountability in English and Rohingya languages, describing the justice mechanisms under the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the ICJ.
On January 23, 2020, the ICJ unanimously indicated legally binding provisional measures, requiring the Government of Myanmar to take all steps within its power to prevent the commission of all acts of genocide, such as killing, causing serious mental or bodily harm, and other acts listed in the Genocide Convention.
In July 2020, Fortify Rights obtained two videos showing two Myanmar Army deserters—Private Myo Win Tun, 33, and Private Zaw Naing Tun, 30—confessing to mass killings of Rohingya and other crimes and explaining the chain-of-command with regard to orders to “exterminate all” Rohingya.- UNB