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Rohingya Crisis: Dhaka for ‘confidential’ mode of submission to ICC

Bangladesh believes in ‘establishing accountability for atrocities’ against Rohi

AKM Moinuddin, UNB Staff Writer 

Monday 11 June, 2018 09:23:22 pm

Rohingya Crisis: Dhaka for ‘confidential’ mode of submission to ICC

Photo: UNB/Salahuddin Ahmed

Dhaka, Jun 11 (UNB) - Bangladesh opted for ‘confidential’ mode of submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Rohingya issue which Bangladesh thinks as a testimony of her ‘keenness to seek bilateral solution’ to this problem. 

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, globally known as ‘Mother of Humanity’ for her courageous move and generous support to the victims of ethnic cleansing from Rakhine state of Myanmar, was left with no option but to act as per tenets of its history and spirit of humanity,” a Foreign Ministry source told UNB. 

Earlier, Bangladesh, being one of the State Parties to the Rome Statute, responded to the request of the ICC as Bangladesh is seeking a ‘sustainable solution’ to the crisis.

Photo: UNB/Salahuddin Ahmed

Bangladesh concurred with both the territorial jurisdiction as well as the claim of forcible deportation of Rohingyas as Bangladesh believes in ‘establishing accountability for the atrocities’ committed against the Rohingya people from Myanmar. 

As a State Party to the ICC, Bangladesh is obliged to follow the court's requests and suggestions.

Bangladesh, a country born out of genocide, is bound to comply with a court as per aspiration of the people of Bangladesh, the source said wishing to remain unnamed.

"It’s, therefore, anticipated that Bangladesh made this submission concurring with the main arguments put forward by the office of the Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of ICC," reads the content of the submission to the ICC. 

Bangladesh conveyed the ICC that the enormity of this human catastrophe is so overwhelming, it’s almost a moral and ethical obligation for the government of Bangladesh to oblige with the Court request.

"This is why Bangladesh concurred with the Prosecution's well-crafted arguments that over a million people have been displaced from Myanmar into Bangladesh through expulsion, deportation and through other coercive means," the document reads.

It has been brought to the attention of the Myanmar government that if they wish to see a lasting solution for Rohingya people, they should address the ‘root causes’ of their nationality problem at the earliest.

Shocking accounts of sexual violence against Rohingya women and children could not be discounted as they rightly constitute crimes against humanity, Bangladesh thinks. 

Photo: UNB/Salahuddin Ahmed

Bangladesh, which is globally known for its women empowerment credential, could not but to act responsibly on the side of humanity, said another source. 

The Chamber invited the competent authorities of Bangladesh to submit written observations, either publicly or confidentially, on the three specific matters.
These are (i) the circumstances surrounding the presence of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar on the territory of Bangladesh; (ii) the possibility of the Court's exercise of territorial jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of members of the Rohingya people from Myanmar into Bangladesh; and (iii) any other matter in connection with the prosecutor's request that, in the opinion of the competent authorities of Bangladesh, would assist the Chamber in its determination of this request.
"We’ve provided all the information they asked for and everything that we know from our experience,” State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam told UNB earlier.
Terming Bangladesh a ‘responsive and responsible’ State, he said, "Our actions are always guided by universal values and laws.”
Foreign Ministry officials said they are working for protecting the country's interests while dealing with the Rohingya issue.

A diplomat in Dhaka said in when the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was established in 1993, few believed that suspects like Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leaders, would ever have to account for themselves. 

They ended up being tried in The Hague and this shows that it pays to prepare for the day when criminal proceedings are possible, the diplomat said referring to a recent article on it.

Analysing the current situation another diplomat said time is quite right for the history to repeat itself.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal, who came to Dhaka for consultations a few days ago, handed over a copy of Bangladesh observations to the court based in The Hague on Monday, a Foreign Ministry official here told UNB.

ICC Registrar Peter Lewis received the submission and the hearing on the issue will be held on June 20.