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POST TIME: 11 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
JUSTICE FOR ROHINGYAS
UN chief for resolution to be endorsed by UNGA
DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT

UN chief for resolution to 
be endorsed by UNGA

The new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has called upon the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution to be forwarded to the General Assembly for endorsement to establish a mechanism to bring the perpetrators of the atrocities against Rohingya population in Myanmar.

In her opening statement to the 39th session of the council in Geneva yesterday, the Chilean national also welcomed the decision of a pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court enabling its prosecutor to begin an investigation into some of the crimes. “I emphasise the imperative of justice for Myanmar. I welcome the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court's finding that the Court has jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of Rohingya from Myanmar, and possibly other crimes,” said Bachelet.

This is an immensely important step towards ending impunity, and addressing the enormous suffering of the Rohingya people, she said.

“I also welcome efforts by Member States at this Council to establish an independent international mechanism for Myanmar to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of the most serious international crimes, in order to expedite fair and independent trials in national and international courts. This mechanism would also complement and support the preliminary examination of the ICC Prosecutor,” said the UN human rights chief.

“I urge the Council to pass a resolution, and refer the matter to the General Assembly for its endorsement, so that such a mechanism can be established,” she said.

Bachelet said that the ongoing session will be apprised of the deeply shocking findings of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.

“The Mission has determined that many of the gross human rights violations, and serious violations of international humanitarian law, in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states amount to the gravest crimes under international law. In addition to crimes against humanity and war crimes – reported to have been committed in all three states – there is strong evidence indicating genocide, extermination and deportation of the Rohingya,” she said.

“It is shocking that journalists involved in documenting some of the massacres which occurred have been prosecuted, and now given a harsh sentence. They should be immediately released. Attacks and persecution appear to be continuing in Rakhine: at least 12,000 new Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh so far this year,” she added, praising Bangladesh for hosting hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas.

“In Kachin and Shan States, the Fact Finding Mission found indications of extrajudicial execution and unlawful killings, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, including against children; sexual violence; arbitrary arrests; and forced labour,” said the UN high commissioner.

“The persistence of these patterns of violations underscores the total impunity accorded to the Myanmar security forces,” she said.