International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has welcomed the decision to authorise an investigation into crimes committed against Rohingyas in Myanmar saying her investigation will seek to uncover the truth.
“My Office will now focus on ensuring the success of its independent and impartial investigation,” she said in a statement on Thursday night.
The ICC Prosecutor said this is a significant development, sending a positive signal to the victims of atrocity crimes in Myanmar and elsewhere.
As a prosecuting office, she said, they hope that through their work, they can bring justice to the victims, wherever their jurisdictional conditions are met.
“In so doing, we count on the full support and cooperation of States Parties, civil society, and other partners, in the joint pursuit of international criminal justice,” said the ICC Prosecutor.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.
Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC’s jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire; Mali; Georgia and Burundi.
The Office is also currently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Colombia; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; the Philippines; Nigeria; Ukraine; and Venezuela.
The ICC judges have accepted its Prosecutor’s analysis that there is a reasonable basis to believe that coercive acts that could qualify as the crimes against humanity of deportation and persecution on grounds of ethnicity and/or religion may have been committed against the Rohingya population.
With the current decision, a formal investigation has been authorised, for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, allegedly committed on or after 1 June 2010, at least in part on the territory of Bangladesh, or on the territory of other state parties, as described in the decision.UNB