File photo of Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) has said that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is expected to vote on a resolution next week establishing an independent mechanism to document these crimes for future prosecutions
Lawmakers from South East Asia on Thursday urged the United Nations (UN) to act on a devastating report on atrocities against the Rohingyas in Myanmar and to do everything in its power to pave the way for justice for victims.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) has said that the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva is expected to vote on a resolution next week establishing an independent mechanism to document these crimes for future prosecutions, reports UNB.
The UN-mandated Independent International Fact-Finding Mission (IIFFM) on Myanmar released its full report on September 19, calling for the Myanmar military top brass to be investigated and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
“The report adds to the mounting body of evidence that the Myanmar security forces have committed the gravest of crimes – including possible genocide – against Rohingya people,” said APHR Chair Charles Santiago, a member of the Malaysian parliament.
“The world must take concrete actions to ensure these atrocities are never repeated. The UN Human Rights Council should accomplish that by establishing an international accountability mechanism. We urge all countries – including Southeast Asian states – to lend support to a resolution to this effect.”
The IIFFM’s report documents in detail a catalogue of violation of rights by the Myanmar security forces during its “clearance operation” in the Rakhine state from August 2017, including killings, burning of villages and sexual violence.
It also concludes that the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar military, should be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes in Shan and Kachin states.
The IIFFM also recommended that either the UNHRC or the UN General Assembly should create an international, independent, impartial mechanism, tasked with gathering evidence with a view to support future criminal prosecutions.
ASEAN parliamentarians have already urged members of the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court – the only way to guarantee a comprehensive investigation by the court, covering all crimes by the Tatmadaw across the whole country.
“With atrocity crimes unfolding in their backyard, ASEAN states simply no longer have the option to remain silent. Countries in the region must condemn Myanmar’s atrocities in a united voice, and push Members of the Security Council to refer the situation there to the ICC,” said Santiago.