In news– Recently, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has rejected Myanmar’s objections to a genocide case over its treatment of the Muslim Rohingya minority, paving the way for the case to be heard in full.
What is Rohingya Genocide?
- Myanmar’s military launched what it called a clearance campaign in Rakhine state in 2017 in the aftermath of an attack by a Rohingya insurgent group.
- The Rohingya genocide is a series of ongoing persecutions and killings of the Muslim Rohingya people by the Burmese military.
- The genocide has consisted of two phases to date: the first was a military crackdown that occurred from October 2016 to January 2017, and the second has been occurring since August 2017.
- More than 700,000 Rohingya fled into neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and torching thousands of Rohingya homes.
Its case at ICJ-
- Amid international outrage at the treatment of the Rohingya, Gambia filed the case with the world court in November 2019, alleging that Myanmar is breaching the genocide convention.
- The Gambia, a predominantly Muslim country, is backed by the 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
- In 2019, lawyers representing Gambia at the ICJ outlined their allegations of genocide by showing judges maps, satellite images and graphic photos of the military campaign.
- That led the court to order Myanmar to do all it can to prevent genocide against the Rohingya. The interim ruling was intended to protect the minority while the case is decided in The Hague, a process likely to take years
- The ICJ’s ruling sets the stage for court hearings, airing evidence of atrocities against the Rohingya that human rights groups and a UN probe say amount to breaches of the 1948 Genocide Convention.
- The ruling of the ICJ is binding on Myanmar, and cannot be appealed. However, no means are available to the court to enforce it.
- So far, only three cases of genocide worldwide have been recognised since World War II: Cambodia (the late 1970s), Rwanda (1994), and Srebrenica, Bosnia (1995).
What is Genocide Convention-1948?
- The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) is an instrument of international law that codified for the first time the crime of genocide.
- The Genocide Convention was the first human rights treaty adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9 December 1948 and signified the international community’s commitment to ‘never again’ after the atrocities committed during the Second World War.
- According to the Convention, genocide is a crime that can take place both in time of war as well as in time of peace.
- The definition of the crime of genocide, as set out in the Convention, has been widely adopted at both national and international levels, including in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
- As per the convention, to constitute genocide, there must be a proven intent on the part of perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.
- Cultural destruction does not suffice, nor does an intention to simply disperse a group.
|International Court of Justice (ICJ)||International Criminal Court (ICC)|
Further reading: https://journalsofindia.com/rohingya-muslims/