ICC team in Bangladesh to meet Rohingyas

March 6, 2019

TEHRAN - A delegation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to arrive in Bangladesh on Wednesday to gather information on atrocities committed against Rohingya refugees by the Myanmar military.

The seven-member team will be in Bangladesh for a week to gather information for a "preliminary examination" report, based on which the ICC will hold a hearing to decide on opening a full-fledged investigation.

It marks a major step towards criminal prosecution over the violence that caused more than 700,000 Rohingyas to flee the violence in their native country and come to Bangladesh since August 2017.

Apart from visiting the camps, the ICC delegation will also hold talks with Bangladesh foreign minister Md Shahriar Alam and other officials.

“We will provide logistic support to the delegation as per their demand,” a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by a Bangladeshi newspaper.

In April 2018, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda submitted a request seeking a ruling on whether the court may exercise jurisdiction over the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

In a ruling in September, the court decided by majority that it may exercise its jurisdiction following which the ICC chief prosecutor announced the launch of a preliminary examination into the matter.

It has been more than a year since Rohingya Muslims were forced to leave Myanmar following brutal crackdown by Myanmar military with tacit support from the government. As per conservative estimates, there are around 905,000 Rohingya refugees presently in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar, although some human rights bodies have put the figure higher.

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