UN Court Rule on Emergency Measures in Burma Genocide Case
Today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced its first ruling in the highlighted genocide case against Burma. The court orders Burma to carry out emergency measures to protect the Rohingya from further violence and persecution.
On 11 December 2019, State Chancellor Aung San Suu Kyi stood before the International Court of Justice to defend the Burmese military against charges of genocide in the Rakhine state. She downplayed the strong testimonies given by victims in the court room, despite the fact that these testimonies had previously been verified by a UN Fact Finding mission.
In her speech, the former pro-democracy icon claimed that individual members of the military may be guilty of abuses, but that “these things happen during war” and is a matter for the Burmese justice system to investigate. She further claimed that there is no evidence of genocide. However, the UN court today found that there is a high risk that the atrocities will continue and ordered the Burmese government to take immediate action to stop the abuse and persecution of the Rohingya.
The process is nowhere near drawing to an end, but today’s ICJ ruling is a first step towards justice and accountability. The court makes a clear statement: those who commit grave human rights violations will be challenged and prosecuted.
“The process has triggered important attention to decades of dreadful human rights abuses against minority groups in Burma. It is imperative that the international community put pressure on Burma to respect the court ruling. It is therefore crucial that Sweden provides clear and unequivocal support to the ICJ process in the same way as Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK among others” said Martin Gemzell, Asia Director at Civil Rights Defenders.
Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the ICJ’s ruling and will continue to monitor the case together with our local partners.