Bangladesh asks ICOE about Rohingya witness protection

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 20:55, Aug 18, 2019 | Updated : 20:57, Aug 18, 2019

Entry of people continues from Myanmar. File PhotoThe delegation of Myanmar’s Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) had a series of meetings with Bangladesh officials on Sunday (Aug 18) when the government asked them how they can ensure the protection of Rohingya witnesses who would talk.
The government officials also wanted to know what would be the fate of the panel’s report when they submit it to the Myanmar president.
An official of the foreign ministry said, “We posed many questions but didn’t receive proper answers from them.”
He said the commission would talk to the Rohingyas in order to collect evidence on human rights violation and they wanted to know what guarantee they have that those Rohingyas would be safe when they go back to their motherland.
“We also asked them how they would maintain the confidentiality of the witnesses,” he added.
Bangladesh requested the delegation to talk to the Myanmar government to allow other international probe bodies including UN Fact Finding mission to work in Rakhine, the official said.
“In our meeting with them we also demanded to hand over the report to Bangladesh,” he said.
The delegation had separate meetings with Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque, officials of foreign ministry UN Wing and Rohingya Cell.
They also had meetings with officials of Home and Disaster management ministries.
The team that arrived in Dhaka Saturday (Aug 17) is headed by a former Japanese ambassador Kenzo Oshima.
The other team members are Professor Dr Aung Tun Thet, Professor Yoshihiro Nakanishi, Ms Leena Ghosh and Ms Khin Myo Myat Soe.
The team will also go to Cox’s Bazar to visit Rohingya camps Monday.
The ICOE is tasked to investigate allegations of human rights violations and related issues with a view to seeking accountability and formulating recommendations on steps to be taken to ensure peace and stability in Rakhine State.