International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced on Tuesday that she will be opening a full preliminary investigation [ICC statement] into alleged crimes against the Rohingya population in Myanmar and their deportation to Bangladesh.
Bensouda has already completed an initial preliminary examination, in which she has determined that the ICC has jurisdiction over the issue. Myanmar is not a signatory of the Rome Statute, which formed the ICC. However, Bangladesh has signed the Rome Statute. The preliminary examination also determined that there is a “reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.”
The investigation will investigate several alleged crimes committed against the Rohingya people, which includes “deprivation of fundamental rights, killing, sexual violence, enforced disappearance, destruction and looting.” The investigation may also include “alleged crimes of persecution and other inhumane acts.” Reports of the alleged crimes began to be submitted to the office of the prosecutor at the end of 2017.
Bensouda had requested a ruling from the ICC to determine if the ICC has jurisdiction over the deportation [JURIST report] of the Rohingya people in April. The ICC ruled earlier this month that the court has jurisdiction [JURIST report] to investigate officials of the Myanmar government regarding the violence against the Rohingya people. UN rights officials called the violence an “ethnic cleansing of Rohingya from Myanmar.”