Military top brass must face justice for crimes against humanity targeting Rohingya

Published: Fri Jul 06 2018

The comprehensive report, "We Will Destroy Everything": Military Responsibility for Crimes against Humanity in Rakhine State, Myanmar, calls for the situation in Myanmar to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and prosecution.

"The explosion of violence – including murder, rape, torture, burning and forced starvation – perpetrated by Myanmar’s security forces in villages across northern Rakhine State was not the action of rogue soldiers or units. There is a mountain of evidence that this was part of a highly orchestrated, systematic attack on the Rohingya population," said Matthew Wells, Senior Crisis Adviser at Amnesty International.

"Those with blood on their hands – right up the chain of command to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing – must be held to account for their role in overseeing or carrying out crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations under international law."

Faced with mounting international pressure, last month the Myanmar authorities announced the establishment of an "Independent Commission of Enquiry" to investigate allegations of human rights violations. Previous government and military-led investigations into abuses in Rakhine State have only served to whitewash military atrocities.

"The international community should not be fooled by this latest attempt to shield perpetrators from accountability. Instead, it must finally put an end to the years of impunity and ensure that this dark chapter in Myanmar’s recent history is never repeated," said Matthew Wells.

"A failure to act now in light of the overwhelming body of evidence begs the question: what will it take for the international community to take justice seriously?"
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