Canada is supporting a genocide prosecution of Myanmar government for systemic violence that forced about 750,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee their country.
Gambia filed the genocide case Monday with the International Criminal Court in The Hague on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Co-operation, a group of 57 Muslim countries.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, in a statement today, said the move will advance accountability for the crime of genocide, which includes mass murder, systemic discrimination, hate speech and sexual and gender-based violence, reported The Canadian Press.
The Canadian government will look for ways to support Gambia’s legal efforts, she added. To that end, she said the government will enlist the help of former Liberal interim leader and longtime politician Bob Rae, who also served as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar.
“Canada welcomes the Gambia’s submission to the International Court of Justice of an application to institute proceedings against the Government of Myanmar for alleged violations of the Genocide Convention.
“This move will help advance accountability for the genocide, which includes acts of mass murder, systemic discrimination, hate speech and sexual and gender-based violence against the Rohingya.”
“Canada will work with other like-minded countries to end impunity for those accused of committing the gravest crimes under international law … Ensuring that the perpetrators of these atrocities are held to account is imperative to provide justice to the victims and survivors while building lasting peace and reconciliation in Myanmar.”
Rae, in his report on Myanmar released last year, urged Canada to play a leading role in any international prosecution of the perpetrators of violence in the South Asian country.
In October 2018, Canada also stripped Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, of her honorary Canadian citizenship for her complicity in the atrocities. She had been renowned for her decades as a leader peacefully opposing her country’s military rulers.