Drum up int’l support against Myanmar, say experts

Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Published : 23:11, Nov 15, 2019 | Updated : 23:12, Nov 15, 2019

Rohingya refugee children pose for a picture at the Balukhali camp in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh, November 15, 2018. REUTERS/File PhotoTwo cases filed against Myanmar and the recent ICC ruling on conducting investigation on crimes against Rohingyas have given Bangladesh an opportunity to gather international support to mount pressure on the neighbouring country to resolve Rohingya crisis.
Experts believe that the legal battles will give Myanmar psychological and moral pressure and it is the high time to engage with the European Union, America and other Asian countries to drum up support for justice and accountability for the crimes committed against Rohingyas.
Gambia has lodged a case against Myanmar with International Court of Justice (ICJ) while some human rights organization filed a case in Argentina against Myanmar State Councillor Aung Sun Suu Kyi, senior General Ming Aung Hlain and others.
Former National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman and Professor at the Law Department at the Dhaka University said, “The case in Argentina is important because if the court issues an arrest warrant then other countries may respect that.”
With arrest warrant issued, if Suu Kyi or any other accused travel to other country which gives importance to human rights may execute the warrant, he said.
Citing example, he said, “When a Spanish Court issued warrant against former Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, it was respected by a London court and he was arrested there.”
He said, Pinochet was accused of enforced disappearance whereas in Myanmar case, it is genocide and crime against humanity, which are more grave crimes.
“The court is convinced that there are prima facie evidence against Myanmar and that’s why it accepted to the case,” Mizan added.
About the case in ICJ he said, ‘This will create pressure on Myanmar as it indicates that Myanmar did not comply with the UN provisions.”
There is no way Myanmar can walk away from the case as ICJ is an UN court and Myanmar is a member of the global body, he said.
He said, “It is true that ICJ does not have criminal jurisdiction but its verdict will recognition that Myanmar violated UN provision.”
Former Bangladesh Defence Attache to Myanmar Md Shahidul Haque said, “It is the high time to build international pressure against Myanmar.”
Canada has already supported the legal move at the ICJ and the government should engage with European Union, America and other countries to drum up support, he added.
“The Western countries are sensitive to human rights issue and we should engage and sensitize them about holding the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
Justice and accountability will be the major tools to resolve the crisis, he said.