State Counsellor Office
State Counsellor Office issued a statement on August 9, stating a request by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to seek jurisdiction over suspected deportations of Bengali Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh was "meritless and should be dismissed".
About 700,000 Bengali Muslims fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh during a military clearance operation following the severe attacks launched by Bengali Muslim terrorists on border guard outposts nearly a year ago.
Bengali Muslims fled to Bangladesh and reported killings, rape and arson on a large scale during the military area clearance operations that the United Nations has called ethnic cleansing. Myanmar responded it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation after coming under attack from Bengali Muslim terrorists.
But ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has asked the court to look into the Rohingya crisis and the court has sought the views of Bangladesh on the "exercise of territorial jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of members of the Bengali Muslims from Myanmar into Bangladesh".
The ICC prosecutor made a prosecution’s request for a ruling on jurisdiction to ICC and requested Myanmar to submit its opinion not later than 27 July.
Now the request of the ICC prosecutor passed. Myanmar said with the benefit of a proper preliminary examination, the prosecutor would possibly have dealt with the source of information forming the basis for the request with more circumspection. As it is, the source on which the prosecutor has relied for the purpose of the request present a completely one-sided and biased narrative of the events in Rakhine State.
Myanmar said it has been made known that several groups have de facto joined the legal process and have filed detailed observations, with the court even ruling where their participation is appropriate under regulation 86 of RoC. The unauthorized and unsolicited submission of observations by these groups has had the effect of placing the court in a difficult emotional bind. Rejection of their submissions on the grounds of a flagrant procedural irregularity would have left the ICC judges exposed to a charge of callousness.
Myanmar said a Prosecution’s Request for a Ruling on Jurisdiction under Article 19 (3) of the Statute is meritless and should be dismissed, adding that an Independent Commission of Enquiry was established on July 30 in 2018. The commission will investigate the allegations of human rights violations and related issues following the terror attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).
Edited by Win Htut