POST TIME: 14 September, 2018 12:53:41 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 September, 2018 11:05:01 AM
ICC urged to begin probe
European Parliament adopts resolution

ICC urged to begin probe

The European Parliament yesterday passed a resolution welcoming the recent ruling of the International Criminal Court (ICC) determining that it may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged forced deportation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The members of the European Parliament (MEP) called upon the chief prosecutor of the ICC to begin an investigation in this regard. Recognising that a referral from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to the ICC for an investigation of the full scope of human rights violations is still needed, the ‘resolution on Myanmar, notably the case of journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo’ of the European Parliament urged the security council to refer the situation in Myanmar to the ICC without a delay

The resolution, based on a joint motion moved by MEPs on Wednesday, expressed support for the calls of the international independent fact-finding mission and ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) for the military generals responsible to be investigated and prosecuted.

The European External Action Service of the European Union and the member states have been asked to seek

accountability in multilateral fora for the perpetrators of crimes in Myanmar and to take the lead in the UNSC on the requested reaction to refer the situation to the ICC, as well as to take the lead in the UN General Assembly and at the upcoming 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The EU has also been urged to increase its efforts towards the urgent establishment of an international, impartial, and independent accountability mechanism to support investigations into alleged atrocity crimes and the prosecution of those responsible.

The resolution reiterated its call on the UNSC to impose a global comprehensive arms embargo on Myanmar, suspending all direct and indirect supplies, sales or transfers, including transit and transhipment of all weapons, munitions and other military and security equipment, as well as the provision of training or other military or security assistance.

It also urged the UNSC to adopt targeted individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against those who appear responsible for serious crimes under international law.

The MEPs in the resolution called on the European Commission to consider an investigation under the mechanisms provided for in the Everything But Arms agreement, with a view to reviewing the trade preferences that benefit Myanmar.

They also called for immediate, unhindered and unfettered access throughout the entire country for delivery of humanitarian aid and insisted that the government of Myanmar guarantee safe, voluntary and dignified return, with full UN oversight, for those who want to return to their land;

Recalling that rape and sexual violence have been a recurrent feature of the targeting of the civilian population in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States in Myanmar, the resolution called for the EU, in particular the Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO), and EU member states to secure improvements in the protection from gender-based violence of Rohingya girls and women.

Strongly condemning the arbitrary arrest and sentencing of journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for reporting on the situation in Rakhine State, the European lawmakers asked the authorities of Myanmar to release them immediately and unconditionally and to drop all charges against them and all persons arbitrarily detained, including political prisoners, human rights defenders, journalists and media workers, simply for exercising their rights and freedoms.