Twenty-three Rohingya organisations from across the globe have called on the US to refer atrocities against the Rohingyas in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The ICC should investigate and prosecute the [Myanmar] military's crimes against Rohingya people as well as the Kachin, Shan and others,” said the organisations in a joint statement issued yesterday.
“We call for accountability for genocide and crimes against humanity in Myanmar and for the United States to take urgent action. We urge the US government to hold Myanmar military officials accountable for genocide,” it said.
The call comes after the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly adopting a resolution on December 13, calling Myanmar's expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims a “genocide”.
On December 3, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum came to the conclusion that there is compelling evidence that the Myanmar military committed crimes against humanity and genocide against the Rohingyas of Rakhine state.
Over 750,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, joining some 300,000 others who had fled earlier waves of violence in Myanmar where they have been denied of citizenship.
Based on interviews with over 1,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), hired by the US State Department, also found evidence of genocide against the Rohingyas.
“Impunity for genocide is unthinkable,” said Tun Khin, president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK.
“We fully expect the US government to get on the right side of history, declare the crimes as genocide, and ensure international accountability with other like-minded governments.”
“Inaction is not an option,” said Matthew Smith, chief executive officer at Fortify Rights.
“Governments on the Security Council should act fast to activate any and all options for accountability. Rohingyas in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and worldwide have been at the forefront documenting the atrocities and calling for justice for their community, and their voices should be heard,” he said in a statement.
The signatories to the statement include Arakan Rohingya Development Association – Australia, Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, British Rohingya Community in UK, Burmese Rohingya Association in Queensland-Australia, Burmese Rohingya Association Japan, Burmese Rohingya Community Australia, Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark, Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK, Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organisation etc.