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Rohingya Crisis: Dhaka uses confidential mode of submission to ICC

  • Published at 12:13 am June 12th, 2018
Rohingya refugees stretch their hands to receive aid distributed by local organisations at Balukhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017 Reuters

As a state party to the ICC, Bangladesh is obliged to follow the court's requests and suggestions

Bangladesh opted for a “confidential” mode of submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the Rohingya issue, which the country thinks is a testimony of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “keenness to seek a bilateral solution” to the problem.

"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, globally known as 'Mother of Humanity' for her courageous move and generous support to the victims of ethnic cleansing from Rakhine state of Myanmar, was left with no option but to act as per tenets of its history and spirit of humanity," a Foreign Ministry source told UNB.

Bangladesh, being one of the state parties to the Rome Statute, responded to the request of the ICC to seek a sustainable solution to the crisis.

The country concurred with both the territorial jurisdiction as well as the claim of forcible deportation of Rohingyas as it believes in establishing accountability for the atrocities committed against the Rohingya people in Myanmar.

As a state party to the ICC, Bangladesh is obliged to follow the court's requests and suggestions.

"It is, therefore, anticipated that Bangladesh made this submission concurring with the main arguments put forward by the office of the Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of ICC," reads the observations sent to the ICC.

The Myanmar government has been informed that they should address the root causes of their nationality problem if they are looking for a lasting solution for the Rohingya crisis.

Shocking accounts of sexual violence against Rohingya women and children could not be discounted as they rightly constitute crimes against humanity, the statement said.

The Chamber invited the authorities of Bangladesh to submit written observations, either publicly or confidentially, on the three specific matters.

These are (i) the circumstances surrounding the presence of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar on the territory of Bangladesh; (ii) the possibility of the Court's exercise of territorial jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar into Bangladesh; and (iii) any other matter in connection with the prosecutor's request that, in the opinion of the competent authorities of Bangladesh, would assist the Chamber in its determination of this request.

"We've provided all the information they asked for and everything that we know from our experience," State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam earlier told earlier.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal, who came to Dhaka for consultations recently, handed over a copy of Bangladesh’s observations to the court based in The Hague on Monday, a Foreign Ministry official in Dhaka told UNB.

ICC Registrar Peter Lewis received the observations and the hearing will be held on June 20.