Crimes against RohingyasICC delegation in Dhaka

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 20:28, Jul 16, 2019 | Updated : 23:29, Jul 16, 2019

A Rohingya refugee repairs the roof of his shelter at the Balukhali refugee camp in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh, Mar 5, 2019. REUTERS/File PhotoA delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday (Jul 16) to open talks with Bangladesh on signing an agreement as a prerequisite to launch a full investigation into the alleged crimes against the Rohingyas, who were driven from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
The delegation led by a ICC deputy prosecutor will meet with the foreign, home and law ministry representatives as well as visit the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Earlier in March, an ICC team led by its Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda travelled to Bangladesh and visited the Rohingya camps for a “preliminary investigation”.
On Jun 26, ICC Chief Prosecutor Bensouda said in a statement that she would ask judges for permission to investigate crimes that had "at least one element" in Bangladesh, which is a member of the ICC.
She added that her investigation would cover crimes that also took place "within the context of two waves of violence in Rakhine State on the territory of Myanmar.”
The war crimes court said in a separate statement it had assigned a three-judge panel to hear Bensouda's request.
If granted, the ICC would become the first international court to look into alleged atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority of Myanmar.
Although Myanmar is not a member of the court, the ICC in September determined it has jurisdiction over some crimes in the region when they had a cross-border nature, given that Bangladesh is a member.
"The Court has jurisdiction over the crime against humanity of deportation allegedly committed against members of the Rohingya people," it said in a September 2018 ruling.
"The reason is that an element of this crime - the crossing of a border - took place on the territory of a State party (Bangladesh)."
The following day, Myanmar's government said it rejected the court's jurisdiction.
An independent UN fact-finding mission in August concluded that Myanmar's military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya.
With 122 members, the UN-backed ICC is a court of last resort, only stepping in when member countries are found to be unwilling or unable to prosecute war crimes on their territory -- or when a case is referred to it by the Security Council.
That occurs only rarely as the United States, Russia and China are not ICC members, and can use their veto powers to prevent a referral, as Russia has done with Syria.