On Friday Rome-based International People’s Tribunal on Myanmar held Myanmar guilty of genocide against Rohingya Muslims (watch video below) and said the “systematic targeting of civilians and other acts committed by the Myanmar Army must be qualified as war crimes.”
A seven-member bench of Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT), holding proceedings on atrocities and state crimes against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Buddhist Myanmar, said its army was committing the crime in the context of official duties.
“On the strength of the evidence presented, the tribunal reached the consensus ruling that the State of Myanmar has the intent to commit genocide against the Kachin people and the other Muslim groups. Further, the State of Myanmar is guilty of the crime of genocide against the Rohingya group. Moreover, that genocide against the Rohingya is now taking place with ongoing acts of genocide and the possibility the casualties of that genocide could be even higher in the future if nothing is done to stop it,” the judgement read.
The tribunal heard first-hand horrific accounts of Rohingya women who had been raped in their homes in Rakhine State by the military forces. These women also witnessed other women who were raped or gang-raped in front of their eyes.
The four survivors’ testimonies also presented a horrific pattern that the Rohingya women who had been raped by the military were raped again several times and for months by the smugglers and other people who took advantage of the situation, in all their way from Rakhine to Thailand and Malaysia.
Amid the backdrop of tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing ethnic-cleansing in their ancestral country, the PPT held proceedings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and heard victims from the Myanmar ethnic communities, recorded their testimonies on their experiences in a court-like setting from September 18-22 at University Malaya’s Faculty of Law.
The Rohingya, a stateless mostly Muslim minority in Buddhist-majority Rakhine, have long experienced persecution in Myanmar, which calls them illegal immigrants.
More than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar’s Arakan state across the border to Bangladesh since August 25.
Hasina Mujeeb Wajid, prime minister of Bangladesh, who met Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly last week said Trump ignored her plea to help stop killing of Muslim minority in Myanmar. She told reporters that she “expects no help from him as he has made clear how he feels about refugees especially the Muslims.”
India’s BJP government has accused 40,000 Rohingya refugees of terror ties and is trying to deport them.
Muslims around the world are condemning genocide of fellow Muslims in Myanmar. Turkey and Iran have sent humanitarian aid for Rohnigya refugees in Bangladesh.