Myanmar rejects int’l court’s right to Rohingya probe


Bensouda argued that, given the cross-border nature of the crime of deportation, a ruling in favour of ICC jurisdiction would be in line with established legal principles.

Furthermore, in light of the fact that Myanmar is not a party to the Statute, the Chamber noted that, while the Court has objective worldwide legal personality, its jurisdiction must still be determined in accordance with the confines of the Statute, according to a statement of the ICC.

"The Court has jurisdiction over the crime against humanity of deportation allegedly committed against members of the Rohingya people", a three-judge panel said in a written summary of their decision on Thursday.

It said Thursday's decision by the Hague-based court was "the result of faulty procedure and is of dubious legal merit".

Rohingya refugees walks along the refugee camp during rain in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, July 25, 2018.

It also said that it would continue to work closely with Bangladesh, United Nation agencies, and global partners to meet the urgent needs of the Rohingya.

In August, a United Nations probe detailed damning evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity "perpetrated on a massive scale" towards the Rohingya, including acts of rape and sexual violence, mass killings, and imposing measures meant to prevent births.

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The Nobel laureate has received widespread criticism for being complicit in the military's brutal crackdown.

It remains imperative that we continue to seek other global justice mechanisms, as well as the United Nations Security Council referral of Myanmar to the ICC for the wide array of atrocity crimes its leaders have been accused, including genocide and other crimes against humanity. This was compounded this week when she failed to step in in defence of two Reuters journalists.

The ICC ruling followed worldwide outrage triggered by the sentencing on Monday of two Reuters news agency journalists - both Myanmar nationals - to seven years in jail under a draconian state secrets act.

Suu Kyi not only failed to speak out in defence of free press - something she once espoused as a vital part of democracy - but reportedly called the pair "traitors" during a private exchange.

An investigation into the Rohingya deportations would be the third for the ICC in Asia, which is already tentatively probing alleged crimes committed during the Philippines' so-called "war on drugs campaign" and the conflict in Afghanistan.

That gives Bensouda a chance to see if there is enough evidence to open a full-blown probe, which could eventually lead to a trial.

The ICC has no forces of its own, so it relies on national police services to make arrests and transfer suspects to the Hague to be tried.