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HRW calls on UN Security Council to refer Burma to ICC

The United Nations Security Council should refer Burma to the International Criminal Court because of its failure to investigate mass atrocities against ethnic Rohingya, said Human Rights Watch on Friday.

The rights organisations further called on Member state of the UN to pursue processes for gathering criminal evidence to advance prosecutions in the ICC and other courts.

Human Rights Watch field research found that Burmese military abuses amount crimes against humanity. The statement outlined concern over Burma’s capacity to prosecute for such crimes stating,

“The Burmese government’s support both for the military operations against the Rohingya and its repeated discounting and dismissal of alleged abuses make it extremely unlikely that the government will press for the credible investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity. Historically courts in Burma have tried soldiers for human rights violations only infrequently and have never held soldiers to account for war crimes. Civilian courts have rarely had jurisdiction over soldiers implicated in criminal offenses.”

The assistant director of the Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program, Param-Preet Singh, said,

“The UN Security Council should refer the situation in Burma to the ICC, which was created precisely to address situations in which grave crimes were committed without consequences. UN member countries should explore concrete measures to build criminal files against those responsible for major crimes in Burma for eventual prosecution. Identifying perpetrators can help raise the political cost of abusive military operations, and bring victims closer to the justice they deserve.”

See full press release here.