As a program of the human rights advocacy organization Justice for All, Burma Task Force has been examining Burma’s compliance with International Court of Justice (ICJ) directives to protect the Rohingya minority from genocide and to ensure accountability. On January 23, 2020, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued four “provisional measures” directing the government of Burma (Myanmar) to protect the Rohingya minority from the crime of Genocide.
This May 2020 report is a follow up to our first, second and third monthly reports. The mainly Muslim Rohingya people of Rakhine State, Burma, have suffered from years of discriminatory legal treatment and wholesale marginalization, mass displacement, mass atrocities and war crimes that in sum amount to genocide. Unfortunately, in agreement with Rohingya organizations, and human rights NGOs, we must again conclude that the Burmese government and military have largely failed to abide by ICJ provisions to end genocide and hold perpetrators accountable.
On May 22, the Burmese government submitted its first required report to the court, which was not made public. Justice for All issued a press release at that time, objecting to the secrecy of the process, which seriously undermines accountability. We also noted some of the trends that our NGO has been describing in previous monitoring reports, notably the continued escalation of military attacks in Rakhine State and the almost complete lack of progress in restoring Rohingya rights.
Shortly after, the Burmese Parliament voted to allocate a half million US dollars to the ongoing ICJ reporting process. However, this money would be better spent restoring Rohingya properties and villages, and reforming Burmese laws, rather than hiring public relations professionals to defend the indefensible.