Rights group calls for tribunal to address crimes against Rohingya
© WikiMedia (Zlatica Hoke (VOA))
Rights group calls for tribunal to address crimes against Rohingya

A human rights law group on Monday released a report that called for a criminal tribunal to be established, or granted jurisdiction, to investigate international crimes committed against Rohingya Muslims.

The Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), contracted by the US State Department to investigate crimes against Rohingya Muslims, undertook a comprehensive human rights documentation investigation in refugee camps and settlement areas in Eastern Bangladesh. After analyzing more than 15,000 pages of documents, collected from 1,024 interviews, PILPG found 13,000 instances of grave human rights violations.

Due to such violations, PILPG suggests a criminal tribunal should be established to prosecute those responsible. The report considers it the international community’s responsibility to provide justice to victims, deter potential perpetrators, and prevent future mass atrocities.

“[I]n the past, different mechanisms were successfully employed to achieve this goal, including the ICC, ad hoc tribunals established by the UN, and hybrid or domestic tribunals established with the support of intergovernmental organizations.”

In late 2017, Myanmar armed forces launched a “clearance operation” against the Rohingya population. Within a few months, more than 700,000 Rohingya had fled their homes to seek refuge across Eastern Bangladesh.

During the investigation, it seemed that mentioning the prospects of justice was the first time the “refugees were being acknowledged as victims of wrongdoings and were given a platform to openly share their story outside their community.”