Aung San Suu Kyi Appears at ICJ as UN Rights Expert Urges Greater Protection for Myanmar Activists
ASIA-UPDATES ON MYANMAR ROHINGYA GENOCIDE, 23 Dec 2019
Making the appeal is the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, who reports that online hostility against activists has increased since the announcement last month of international legal proceedings over the atrocities.
10 Dec 2019 – “I call on each and every organ of the Myanmar State to ensure that absolutely no reprisals are taken against any group or individual that is advocating for justice and accountability in Myanmar,” said the independent expert in a statement issued today, adding that those targeted include members of the Free Rohingya Coalition.
Legal proceedings begin
The Rohingya are a mainly Muslim population residing in northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country.
More than 600,000 members of the minority group fled to neighbouring Bangladesh following a reported military crackdown in August 2017. Numerous alleged human rights abuses took place, with the then UN human rights chief describing it as bearing all the hallmarks of a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
Ms. Lee recalled that The Gambia in November filed an application against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial organ of the United Nations.
The West African country brought the case to the world court on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The ICJ proceedings began on Tuesday in The Hague, with Nobel peace laureate and Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi also present in court to defend the country against accusations of genocide. She is due to address the court on Wednesday.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has also authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed against the Rohingya, while criminal complaints of genocide and crimes against humanity have been filed in Argentina under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
WATCH LIVE: The Gambia opens the first round of oral observations on its request for the indication of provisional measures in the case of #TheGambia v. #Myanmar before the #ICJ https://t.co/bGKMbFQVlU
— CIJ_ICJ (@CIJ_ICJ) December 10, 2019
Social media firms urged to take action
“Following the announcement of these important developments, I have noted the spread of increasingly hostile online rhetoric propagating a false and divisive narrative of being either ‘with us’ or ‘against us’,” Ms. Lee said.
“Abusive speech continues to be circulated on social media targeting Myanmar’s ethnic minorities, including the Rohingya, as well as human rights defenders, women and others. These messages are intended to spread hatred and fear and, as we know, can have disastrous real-world consequences.”
As social media had a role in stoking the violence in 2016 and 2017, Ms. Lee called on the Myanmar Government to take “urgent and comprehensive action” to prevent incitement to violence, discrimination and hatred.
She also urged social media firms to meet their responsibility to respect human rights, including by ensuring their platforms were not being used to promote hatred or incitement to violence.
Tags: Asia, Bangladesh, Buddhism, Burma/Myanmar, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, History, Human Rights, Justice, Racism, Religion, Rohingya, Social justice, United Nations, Violence
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
ASIA-UPDATES ON MYANMAR ROHINGYA GENOCIDE: