Crimes against Rohingyas: ICC prosecutor seeks joint efforts to deliver justice

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor is investigating alleged crimes against the Rohingya within the court’s jurisdiction

Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim AA Khan QC has emphasized on a collective responsibility that can help them move beyond talking about justice to delivering it for the Rohingyas.

“We have to work together to achieve justice. That is what required,” Khan told reporters at a media briefing at a Dhaka hotel, noting that justice is an essential prerequisite for indicating people’s rights.

Expressing satisfaction over the support he received from Bangladesh so far, the ICC prosecutor said he looks forward to working with all in Bangladesh, the international community and the Rohingyas, so that they can move forward.

This was Khan’s first visit to Bangladesh in his capacity as ICC prosecutor. He said the challenge is to move beyond talk and to get actions and results so that “we can get the justice that we need.”

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor is investigating alleged crimes against the Rohingya within the court’s jurisdiction.

The ICC prosecutor, earlier, had a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and thanked her for her support for international criminal justice and her continued leadership in the quest for accountability.

During his weeklong visit to Bangladesh, Khan also had a meeting with Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and met Rohingyas and other stakeholders.

In his meeting with female survivors in the Kutupalong camp of Cox’s Bazar, Khan heard their stories and hoped for justice.

In November 2019, ICC judges granted a request to open a full investigation into alleged atrocities committed against the Rohingyas within the jurisdiction of the court.

This authorisation to open an investigation is seen as a “significant development” for the pursuit of justice and the establishment of the truth, in particular for the victims of alleged crimes of this situation.

Investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor are now carefully and thoroughly seeking to uncover the truth about what happened to the Rohingya people in Myanmar which brought them here to Bangladesh.

The ICC prosecutor said even though justice is a lengthy process, he believed that it can be achieved.

Khan also said he would go anywhere if he felt that it would help him to fulfil his responsibilities as the ICC prosecutor.

He mentioned that the case could not move forward as the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact everywhere but they are now looking forward to the injection of additional resources with more focus.

Khan added that if they continue working together, they can do better and will get some positive results. 

I want to come again as we need to visit much more frequently.”

He said everyone has a role to play and no one can just be a spectator. 

“We must stand up and speak up. Let’s unite and march forward. It’s a collective responsibility for every human being,” Khan continued.