The Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) issued a statement on December 20, calling for the international community to exert more pressure in three ongoing proceedings against perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities against the Rohingya people: the genocide case brought before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the forced deportation investigation before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the more recent universal jurisdiction case in Argentina.
The group’s statement explained the “Karen people have long suffered the types of atrocities that Rohingya people have faced at the hands of the Burma/Myanmar military. We hope these cases will bring justice and accountability, and put an end to the Burma/Myanmar military’s long-standing impunity for systematic and widespread human rights abuses.”
KHRG said these three proceedings offered the possibility for perpetrators of crimes against humanity and gross human rights violations in Burma/Myanmar to finally be brought to justice. KHRG noted bringing such cases to justice at the national level is nearly impossible. KHRG pointed out the Myanmar legal system and judiciary are not independent, and in many cases are incompetent – mainly used to rubber stamp the military jailing of its opponents.
KHRG said the Burma’s military junta past acts of violence and human rights abuses of the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities still continue today. KHRG stressed that there are now many opportunities to end the military’s impunity, if the international community acts.
KHRG said as there is no investigation into the military’s violations and crimes against other ethnic minorities, getting justice for these crimes will be ongoing and much depends on the outcome of the Rohingya case.
KHRG urged the international community to work with Canada and the Netherlands through the ICJ to bring justice to the victims and to end the military’s cycle of violence.
The civil society groups and KHRG called for humanitarian assistance to be made available for the people of Burma now facing atrocities. Civil society groups have also called on the UN and international organisations to recognize the military and its coup as illegal and to impose arms embargoes on the State Administration Council.
The Karen Human Rights Group is an independent organisation that documents and reports on human rights abuses faced by the people of southeastern Burma.