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POST TIME: 8 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Rohingya: ICC raises hope for justice

Rohingya: ICC raises hope for justice

It is encouraging to note that the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in Hague has issued a ruling in clear terms that it has jurisdiction to probe the allegations about the forced exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar as a possible crime against humanity, despite the fact that Myanmar is a State not party to the Statue.

There is little doubt that it is a first good step towards the right direction to hold the Myanmar authorities particularly its military generals, and Bangladesh should snatch this opportunity as a victim of the genocide committed in Rakhine since it had to host the displaced people.

When some days ago, international concerns surfaced over the possible trial of military generals responsible for mass murder in Rakhine in the ICC, Myanmar said that such a trial could not be possible because the country is not a signatory to it. Only recently the revelations of a UN fact-finding mission on the extent of deaths and destruction and sufferings of Rohingyas quickly stirred the conscience of people worldwide and opinions in the world media appeared that Myanmar must be tried for the crimes committed.

The yesterday’s ICC’s Pre Trial Chamber I ruling that it has power to entertain the prosecutor’s request for trial should now be a piece of welcome news for Bangladesh that has repeatedly urged the UN and the international community for tougher action against the atrocities committed in Rakhine.

Since some big powers are behind Myanmar and have veto power in the UN’s Security Council, no punitive resolution could be taken against Myanmar. Now, if a verdict comes from the ICC, it would surely make the work of forcing Myanmar to take back its citizens easier. Its dilly-dallying and hypocritical approach to take back Rohingyas has already created frustration as to whether it really wants to do so.

Since Bangladesh is bearing the brunt of the massive-scale violence in Rakhine, it should constantly help the ICC by all possible means so that a verdict is gained in Bangladesh’s favour, and most importantly, for the people who are victims of this blatant ethnic cleansing.

Even when it helps the Hague-based international court, Bangladesh should vigorously pursue those countries that overtly or covertly supported Myanmar authorities to change their stance on Rohingya. The bottom line is: Bangladesh ought to remain ever active on the matter.