Female Nobel laureates demand trial of Myanmar government at International Criminal Court

Three female Nobel Peace laureates have called for immediate action against Myanmar and its army for a “clear genocide” on the Rohingya community.

Cox’s Bazar Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 26 Feb 2018, 12:34 PM
Updated : 26 Feb 2018, 12:34 PM

They talked to reporters after visiting the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. They also met Cox's Bazar Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam on Monday.

Describing their experiences of witnessing women who have been raped and have lost their families, Mairead Maguire, a peace activist from Northern Ireland, said: “One woman’s baby was taken away by the Myanmar soldier and butchered. This is clearly clearly clearly genocide that is going on by the Burmese government and military.”

Maguire urged global leaders to drag the Myanmar government to the International Criminal Court for “an orchestrated attempt to remove, out of Myanmar and out of history, the Rohingya people.”

“If military and the government think that they can slaughter little children, because this is slaughtering of innocence at a massive scale, where is our world going?”

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, expressed gratitude to the people and the government of Bangladesh for hosting the refugees.

“I am truly grateful to the people and the government of Bangladesh for the kindness and generosity for hosting these refugees. Yet more and more refugees are coming into Bangladesh and this has to stop.”

The government has done so much already to support and help more than a million Rohingyas now living in Bangladesh who belong to Myanmar, she said.

“Because not only it’s not good for the refugees; it is intense pressure on the people of Bangladesh. And the cause of all these crimes is the government of Burma,” Ebadi said.

Stating her fear that China might veto the resolution on the Myanmar government, she said: “I hope that this time, unlike all the other times when it vetoed everything, the Chinese government will not veto this.”

Yemeni journalist and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman pledged to follow the United Nations and other international communities to make sure that Myanmar is tried at the International Criminal Court.

“As members of the Nobel Women’s Initiative we will follow them until they are tried,” she said. 

The Nobel laureates visited the Kutupalong Rohingya camp in groups after reaching Cox’s Bazar on Sunday.

The next day they went to Balukhali and Thaingkhali camps and held meetings with administrators of the tourist district.

Nobel Women’s Initiative, an organisation of female Nobel Peace laureates, organised the tour dubbed ‘Standing with Rohingya Women: Nobel Women 2018 Delegation’ in partnership with Bangladeshi women’s rights organisation Naripokkho.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who won Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for democracy and human rights in Myanmar, has faced widespread criticism for not raising her voice against the atrocities by the military.

She is now the de facto leader of the Myanmar government, still controlled by the army.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher