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‘Bangladesh, involve ICC into Rohingya crisis’

Afrida Ahmed: A Southeast Asia-based rights organization, Fortify Rights yesterday said that Bangladesh government should encourage the International Criminal Court (ICC) to address the situation in Myanmar and prosecute the crime of exiling the Rohingyas, reports The Daily Star. Chief Executive Officer of Fortify Rights, Matthew Smith said they support this and any other steps that would hold the Myanmar military responsible for committing crimes against Rohingyas. He also mentioned that Bangladesh should  do its best to cooperate and help the Rohingyas get justice for their human rights violations. Bangladesh is a member state to the ICC but Myanmar is not. The ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda filed a request on April 9 where she asked the ICC whether it has jurisdiction over the deportation on the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. An ICC ruling declaring jurisdiction could help Prosecutor Bensouda to investigate the deportation of Rohingyas. Matthew Smith said the ICC prosecutor Bensouda was correct that this was not a theoretical question of jurisdiction but an important step that could help save thousands of lives. This was a historic moment for Bangladesh to show the world it believed Rohingyas deserve justice, said Matthew in a statement. A 15-member UN Security Council delegation visited Bangladesh and Myanmar from April 29 to May 1 to meet the Rohingya survivors of human rights violations including senior and government officials. Matthew Smith said the Security Council should immediately refer the situation in Myanmar to the ICC and not wait for a court ruling on the crime of deportation since many crimes had been committed against the Rohingyas and it required immediate attention.

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