Assessing the Atrocities: Early Indications of Potential International Crimes Stemming from the 2017 Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis
19 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 30, 2018
The humanitarian crisis focused on the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, in which hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh to escape rampant massacres, rape and brutal sexual violence, arbitrary detention, and mass arson reportedly committed by Myanmar government forces, captured the world’s attention and shocked its conscience. Many observers were surprised and dismayed that Myanmar’s civilian leader—noted democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi—failed to take a strong stance against Myanmar’s military, thereby providing it tacit cover. Immediate calls for international investigations prompted action by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the creation of a UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar. This short responsive piece outlines some potential international crimes that could be charged against alleged perpetrators, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, and explores some of the key challenges to prosecutions.
Keywords: Crimes against humanity, Genocide, Ethnic cleansing, War crimes, Rohingya, Rakhine, Myanmar (Burma), Aung San Suu Kyi
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