BUENOS AIRES, December 17 (AFP): A representative of Myanmar’s Rohingya minority community testified in an Argentinian court on Thursday December 16 as part of an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Asian country’s military rulers .
The tribunal agreed to investigate the allegations on the basis of the principles of universal jurisdiction, that certain acts – including war crimes and crimes against humanity – are so horrific that they are not specific to one. nation and can be tried anywhere.
A 2017 military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which the UN says could amount to genocide, sparked an exodus of more than 740,000 community members, mostly to Bangladesh.
“Recently, they announced new restraining orders for the Rohingya people,” Tun Khin, president of the UK-based Burmese Rohingya Organization UK, told reporters in Buenos Aires before the hearing.
“We are concerned that the situation is getting worse, so it is very important that we push the international community to seek justice, not only this court, but other cases to be supported by the international community.”
Other proceedings against Myanmar and its leadership are already pending before the International Criminal Court and the UN International Court of Justice.
This is not the first time that Argentine courts have taken up cases of universal jurisdiction, having done so in relation to the regime of ex-dictator Francisco Franco in Spain and the Falun Gong movement in China.
In August, six women testified remotely in court from refugee camps in Bangladesh, claiming they had been sexually abused and lost family members in the crackdown.
In a statement, the British Rohingya organization said: “Tun Khin’s testimony will focus on his personal story, which in many ways reflects the tragic and modern history of the Rohingya people.”
His parents were forced into exile in Bangladesh in 1978, and Khin himself left Myanmar in the 1990s after being unable to attend university “simply because he was a Rohingya”, according to him. the press release.
Khin on Thursday said he appreciated the humanitarian aid the Rohingya have received, but wanted more support for court cases and “much stronger action … to restore the rights of the Rohingya and stop this. genocide”.
Myanmar denies committing genocide, justifying the 2017 operations as a way to root out Rohingya militants. – AFP