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Burma Task Force commends the ongoing work of the International Court of Justice, beginning today and extending until next Monday. However, we regret the choice of members of the military junta as representatives of Myanmar’s government. It should be clear that this choice does not legitimize the junta in any way.
Burma Task Force first began its work in 2012 in response to the persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine State, Burma. The persecution became a military-led genocide, with thousands killed, hundreds of villages destroyed, and lands seized and sold. Over a million Rohingya are still displaced in refugee camps in Bangladesh. In the absence of justice in Burma, international courts are necessary to hold the perpetrators accountable for the mass atrocities and mass displacement perpetrated by Burmese troops and their leaders.
A program of the Human Rights Advocacy NGO Justice for All, Burma Task Force notes that there has been no change in the extreme brutality of the Burmese military. In failing to hold Burmese authorities fully responsible for its mass atrocities targeting the Rohingya minority, the international community sent a signal to Burmese military leaders that they could risk a power grab. And this has resulted in a shattered nation facing starvation along with state sponsored torture, bombing and killing.
“Rohingya refugees have been scattered all over the world by the genocidal persecution in Burma,” stated Burma Task Force Program Associate Sharifah Shakirah, who also leads the NGO Rohingya Women Development Network. “I am one of these Rohingya refugees. We want peace and justice and the citizenship rights in our homeland. But the genocide is ongoing and the lies of the perpetrators should deceive no one. It is also concerning to learn that the military has chosen representatives who are themselves being sanctioned for complicity in crimes against our people.”
In solidarity with Rohingya leadership, Burma Task Force will be monitoring the hearings as well as convening online discussions with legal advocates. Here in the USA, we ask that the US Congress will not further delay passage of the Burma Act legislation, and that the US State Department will soon make its genocide designation official.
For more information: Adem Carroll Adem@justiceforall.org
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An NGO with Consultative Status at the United Nations (DGC) Justice for All is nonprofit organization based in the United States. Since 2012, our program Burma Task Force has advocated for Rohingya rights and accountability in Burma. www.BurmaTaskForce.org
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