UN high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet has said the decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court offers real hope for accountability for the crimes committed against Rohingyas in Myanmar.
‘Although the decision does not specifically address the crime of genocide, it offers real hope for accountability for the crimes committed,’ she said while addressing the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday.
She said support for the Court is indispensable for both justice and deterrence.
‘I urge all States to support the Court, and in this, the year we commemorate the 20thanniversary of its founding with the Rome Statute, I call upon all remaining countries to sign or ratify the Statute,’ said the UN human rights chief.
She said genocide is always shocking but it is never committed without clear, multiple warning signs: a pattern of abuse against a group, an intent to harm, a chain of command and finally a brutal and horrifying outcome.
‘In the case of the Rohingya, warning signs abounded: a people oppressed from birth to death, an army answerable to no one, and systematic, state-led human rights violations that went unpunished for decades, including arbitrary deprivation of nationality,’ she said.
Bachelet said states have the primary responsibility for prosecuting perpetrators, but the Court's use is wholly appropriate in cases where the State is unwilling or unable to deliver justice.
‘I welcome last week's decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court, which found that the Court has jurisdiction over the alleged deportation from Myanmar of Rohingya, and possibly other crimes,’ she added.
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