ICC seeks Rohingya probe

Rohingya refugee. Photo: Syful-Islam
Rohingya refugee. Photo: Syful-Islam

A prosecutor from the international criminal court (ICC) has sought jurisdiction over the 'deportation' of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh, with the aim of investigating and prosecuting those responsible, reports UNB.

In a filing published on Monday, the court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said, "This is not an abstract question but a concrete one, affecting whether the court may exercise jurisdiction ... to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute."

The file reads, "The prosecution requests the president of the Pre-Trial Division to assign this matter promptly to a pre-trial chamber, pursuant to regulation 46 (3), and the assigned Pre-Trial Chamber to rule under article 19(3) on the question whether the court may exercise jurisdiction under article 12 (2) (a) over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh."

The prosecutor is seeking a ruling to ‘verify that the court has territorial jurisdiction when persons are deported from the territory of a state which is not a party to the statute directly into the territory of a state which is a party to the statute.’

Bensouda argued that, given the cross-border nature of the crime of deportation, a ruling in favour of ICC jurisdiction would be in line with established legal principles.

Meanwhile, while asked about the latest development, a diplomat on condition of anonymity told UNB, "This is a huge breakthrough in the field of international law and norms."

Myanmar is on the way to ICC dock, he added.