Published On: Rab, Des 11th, 2019

At top court, Myanmar urged to ‘stop genocide of own people’

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The Hague, CakrabuanaNews – Al Jazeera news source reported – Aung San Suu Kyi appeared at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Tuesday to face charges of genocide that Myanmar must anticipate.

The country’s civilian leader, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle against Myanmar’s military dictatorship, arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airfield on Sunday with Wouter Jurgens, the Dutch ambassador to Myanmar, and was welcomed by a handful of his supporters.

Several demonstrations, for and against it, are expected to take place in the coming days in the Dutch city.

This case, the first international legal effort to bring Myanmar to international court for alleged mass murder of the Rohingya minority, occurred after Gambia on November 11 filed a lawsuit with the ICJ and accused Myanmar of violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s office confirmed last month that she would participate in the hearing and lead her country’s team to “defend national interests”.

More than 700,000 Rohingya, a minority who are mostly Muslim, fled to neighboring Bangladesh after a bloody crackdown in 2017 by the Myanmar military, concluded by UN investigators carried out with “genocidal intentions”.

Reed Brody, a commissioner at the International Jurisprudence Commission, who was instrumental in prosecuting former Chadian President Hissene Habre, told Al Jazeera: “It is truly unprecedented for top political leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi to take a leading role in a legal case at ICJ.

“Legally it could be counterproductive for Suu Kyi to take on such a role because she seems to politicize this case.

“The ICJ exudes diplomatic traditions and protocols and I doubt the judges will be impressed by tour groups who arrive from Myanmar to support the government.”

During the three-day hearing, the Gambian legal team will ask the ICJ judge for “temporary measures” to protect the Rohingya before the case is fully heard.

Myanmar has long denied the accusations of genocide and most of the alleged violence targeted by the military, saying that its actions were intended to protect the country from Rohingya “militants”. He promised to punish soldiers involved in cases of wrongdoing.

Some world leaders, human rights groups, international observers and Rohingya victims claim otherwise; that Myanmar has committed systematic, violent, and sometimes sexual and lethal harassment of thousands of Rohingya – including children – while denying the rights of ethnic minority citizenship.

Aung San Suu Kyi is widely criticized because most have remained silent over allegations of anti-Rohingya violence, and more recently about cell phone blackouts that were imposed on the majority of Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia.

Marzuki Darusman, head of the UN fact-finding mission in Myanmar, last month warned that there was a “serious risk of genocide” against Rohingya who still live in the country.

The team from Gambia, a small Muslim country in West Africa, said the anti-Rohingya attacks by Myanmar were “genocidal because they were intended to destroy the Rohingya in whole or in part”.

International lawyer Priya Pillay said the Gambian case was “an important step in seeking accountability”, but noted, “success at ICJ is far from guaranteed”.

Unlike the International Criminal Court (ICC) or domestic court, a person cannot sue or be sued at the ICJ, which is also known as the World Court.

Cases before the ICJ determine whether a country violates the law.

“The court will read the application and will set a deadline for the parties,” Ilias Bantekas, a law professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar, told Al Jazeera. “If Myanmar challenges that claim to the bitter end, the final decision on services and repairs can take five years.

“The best that victims can claim from this is recognition of the types of mass crimes committed and the authoritative record of events.

“In addition, official apologies to victims can be requested by the ICJ, as well as some forms of collective compensation, through the Gambian-applicant, which may even consist of healthy restoration and resettlement, along with the granting of a large number of collective rights to the Rohingya, for example, regional autonomy, protection of religious rights and representation in parliament. “

Navanethem Pillay, an experienced South African judge and former UN high commissioner for human rights, and Claus Kress, a German law professor, have been appointed as ad hoc judges in this case.

Experts are divided over whether the ICJ is a suitable court for hearing genocide cases.

Susan Karamanian, a professor at Hamad bin Khalifa University and genocide expert, said the Genocide Convention explicitly gave ICJ jurisdiction to hear disputes over the “interpretation and application” of the agreement.

“The issue of proof can be a challenge and it will be interesting to see whether the ICJ comes with creative ways for the full proof of evidence to be developed,” he said.

Philippe Sands QC, a professor at University College London and advisor to the Gambia in this case, told Al Jazeera that the ICJ is “guardian of the Genocide Convention”.

Regarding the issue of relief for victims, Sands said: “The court will decide, based on previous evidence, and the legal arguments presented, whether the conditions for ordering temporary measures are met.

“The United Nations and other independent investigators have made clear conclusions that genocidal actions against Rohingya groups in Myanmar have taken place and are continuing.”
Kirim masukan
Histori
Disimpan
Komunitas

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