Rohingya genocide: International Court rejects Myanmar's objections
The Hague, Netherlands, July 23: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Myanmar's objections to the Rohingya genocide case. As a result, there is no longer any obstacle to proceed with the proceedings of the case filed by The Gambia on the charges of genocide and torture against the Rohingya minority in the United Nations' court.
Earlier, Myanmar's preliminary objection hearing was held at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands last February. ICJ President Justice Joan E. Donoghue read out the verdict at 3 pm local time (7 pm Bangladesh time) on Friday (July 22), reports AP.
Myanmar claimed that the ICJ did not have the jurisdiction to hear the petition registered by West African country The Gambia. However, in Friday's ruling, the International Court of Justice said it has full jurisdiction to prosecute the Rohingya genocide.
In 2017, Myanmar's army carried out an ethnic cleansing campaign in Rakhine State, bordering Bangladesh, by burning down the houses of the Rohingya minority, raping and killing them. At that time, more than 700,000 Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh in the face of torture. Even before this, hundreds of thousands of Myanmar's Muslim minority had taken refuge in Bangladesh. They are yet to return to their native land.
The Gambia filed a case against Myanmar in the International Court of Justice in November 2019 on allegations of Rohingya genocide. On December 10-12 of that year, the preliminary hearing was held for the first time in this case. The country's Minister of Law and Justice, Abubakar Tambadu, led The Gambia. Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi participated in the hearing on behalf of Myanmar.
In 2020, Gambia filed a genocide case against Myanmar at the ICJ. It showed how Myanmar's military forces massacred the Rohingyas.
However, the Myanmar government challenged at one stage claiming that ICJ has no jurisdiction to hear this case. Representatives of the Myanmar junta attended the hearing last February as Suu Kyi was in jail. Their claim that since the ICJ only hears cases between two states and that The Gambia filed the Rohingya genocide case on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), it should be dismissed.
Myanmar also claims that since The Gambia has no direct link to the Rohingya issue and the country has no previous legal conflict with Myanmar, the West African country cannot file this case in the International Court of Justice.
Various countries including Bangladesh, Netherlands, Canada are supporting The Gambia in the case of Rohingya genocide. In addition, the OIC is providing financial support to The Gambia to continue its legal battle at the ICJ.