The ICJ today urged the UN Human Rights Council to establish a mechanism to preserve evidence of crimes under international law occurring in Myanmar, with a view to eventual prosecution of those responsible.
The statement, delivered during an interactive dialogue with the UN International Fact Finding Mission, read as follows:
“The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has monitored justice and human rights in Myanmar for more than five decades. The ICJ has an established presence in the country supporting justice actors to protect human rights through the rule of law.
With this experience, the ICJ views the Independent International Fact Finding Mission’s conclusions as painting an authoritative picture of the general situation in Myanmar, particularly in its highlighting of the pervasive damage of military impunity upon human rights, rule of law and the nascent democratic process.
The rule of law cannot be established, let alone flourish, without accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations and redress for victims and their families.
The Fact Finding Mission’s findings of crimes under international law, including crimes against humanity in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states, and the identification of alleged perpetrators, necessitate immediate action.
The Government of Myanmar is unwilling and unable to effectively and genuinely provide justice for crimes, particularly when perpetrated by security forces. International action must not be deterred or delayed by the latest government inquiry, which is incapable of providing accountability or redress and may promote impunity by undermining credible international justice mechanisms.
The ICJ calls for a unified Council resolution at this session to establish an International Impartial and Independent Mechanism. This is urgently required to preserve evidence before its further deterioration, and to demonstrate a commitment to justice. Failing to act now risks further denying justice for victims and emboldening perpetrators.
Violations against Rohingya constitute an egregious yet emblematic example of systematic persecution of minority groups that has persisted in Myanmar for decades.
The ICJ would like to ask the Fact-Finding Mission: how can the Council best ensure accountability for the full range of crimes under international law committed against minorities throughout Myanmar and prevent their continuation and recurrence?”
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