The Second Chamber of the Federal Criminal Court in Buenos Aires opened a case against the Myanmar military Saturday over atrocities committed against the Rohingyas.
In 2017, the Myanmar military and its proxies launched a vicious campaign in the region. A report by the Anadolu Agency shows that nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims were killed, 34,000 Rohingya Muslims were thrown into fires, over 114,000 Rohingya Muslims were beaten, approximately 18,000 women and girls were raped, over 115,00 Rohingya homes were burnt down, and more than 750,000 Rohingyas were forced to flee into Bangladesh.
On September 12, 2018, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. After interviewing 875 victims and eyewitnesses of the atrocities, the report concluded that the military had consistently failed to respect International Human Rights Law and the the International Humanitarian Law principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution. However, the United Nations was said to have not done much about the information provided to them within the report, so in November 2019 the Gambia filed a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Myanmar for violating the Genocide Convention. The ICJ responded by imposing provisional measures and ordering the end of genocidal practices against the Rohingya by the Myanmar military.
Around the same time the Gambia filed a case at the ICJ, Burmese Rohingya Organization UK (BROUK) along with six women who were raped and tortured petitioned the Argentinian judiciary to open a case against senior Myanmar officials. Saturday’s holding grants the BROUK petition. This case is now the first universal jurisdiction case concerning the Rohingya genocide anywhere in the world, but as previously stated, not the only international legal process against the Myanmar authorities.
According to the current President of BROUK, Tun Chin, “There is no question that the Myanmar authorities are feeling the pressure of the many international justice efforts that are under way. The architects of the genocide against the Rohingya can and should soon face a Court of Law. We urge the international community to redouble efforts to bring about justice and ensure that this momentum is not lost.”