Rohingya crisis: ICC team arrives in city

Published: July 16, 2019 11:58:54 | Updated: July 16, 2019 13:36:52

Rohingya refugees look out from a shelter in Cox's Bazar — Reuters/Files

A delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), led by its Deputy Prosecutor James Kirkpatrick Stewart, arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday morning on a weeklong visit to Bangladesh to talk to senior government officials and representatives of international organisations over the Rohingya issue.

They landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at around 8:55am. The delegation will leave Dhaka on July 22.

Apart from holding meetings with the senior officials of the Law and Home ministries, the ICC delegation members will also visit Rohingya camps to see the situation on the ground, officials said.

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has already requested its judges to authorise an investigation into alleged crimes like deportation, other inhumane acts and persecution committed against Rohingyas, reports UNB.

As Myanmar is not a State Party to the Rome Statute, but Bangladesh is, it is important to keep in mind that the authorisation to investigate, if granted by judges, would not extend to all crimes potentially committed in Myanmar, but will focus on crimes allegedly committed in part on the territory of Bangladesh, according to the ICC.

Investigating deportation will, however, mean taking a close look at the alleged violence that left the Rohingyas no genuine choice but to flee Myanmar.

The request seeks authorisation from the court's judges to open an investigation into alleged crimes within the jurisdiction of the court in which at least one element occurred in the territory of Bangladesh and within the context of two recent waves of violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, as well as any other crimes which are sufficiently linked to these events.

The requested authorisation to investigate the situation covers the period since the October 9, 2016.

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