ICC's leap in the dark
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has issued a clear and compelling case against Myanmar -- both its armed forces and its leaders. A UN-ordered investigation of the Rohingya tragedy is described unequivocally and credibly as genocidal. The UNHRC says government and army then tried to cover up crimes by multiple fabrications. It specifically names Sen Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the commander of the armed forces (tatmadaw) and the national leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The crimes against the Rohingya are undeniable except by the Myanmar authorities. They include mass murders, organised rape, burning out homes and whole villages and ethnic cleansing. This good work by the UNHRC in detailing exact responsibility raises the obvious question of "what next?" and last week, the International Criminal Court claimed boldly that it has jurisdiction. The ICC wants to step in to arrest, deport and try the tatmadaw command and senior generals for crimes against humanity.
However unlikely this is to occur under current and likely future circumstances within Myanmar, it is a legally interesting claim because it is highly controversial. It puts the ICC on a legal course it has not previously considered in its 20-year history. And it pits the court against nations including world powers and most of Asean.
Bangkok Post editorial column
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