RNA - According to media reports on Monday, around 30 human rights groups and advocates from 10 countries have jointly launched the international “Boycott Myanmar Campaign” to exert political and economic pressure on the country.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague is scheduled to start three days of hearings regarding the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in a lawsuit filed by Gambia in November.
Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday, will stand trial at the ICJ on Tuesday.
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled from Myanmar to refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh in 2017 after a brutal military-led crackdown.
The United Nations has said the campaign was executed with “genocidal intent” and included mass killings and rape.
During the hearings, the 16-member panel of UN judges at the ICJ will urge Myanmar’s leader to impose “provisional measures” to protect the Rohingya before the case can be heard in full.
Rohingya Muslims demand justice
Myanmar denies allegations of genocide, claiming that the military campaign across hundreds of villages in northern Rakhine state was in response to Rohingya-related militancy in the region.
The Rohingya reject this, insisting that Myanmar’s leadership must be held accountable.
Mohammed Zobayer, 19, who teaches at a learning center at refugee camps in Bangladesh, says members of the Rohingya were tortured and killed before others’ eyes.
“We witnessed rape, torture and killings. We saw many killed before our eyes. All we could do was run while our homes burned. Now it is time for the global community to act and hold Myanmar accountable for the horrific crimes they committed” he said.
Nur Alam, 65, whose son was shot dead by the Myanmar army in August 2017, says, “Once Aung San Suu Kyi was an icon of peace and we had huge expectations that things would change when she came to power. We prayed for her, but she has now become an icon of genocide. Instead of protecting us, she has joined hands with the killers. Now she is going to defend the killers. We hate her. Shame on her. She and the army and the killers of my son must all be punished.”
“Only justice can heal our wounds,” said Rashid Ahmed, aged 35. He says 12 members of his family members were killed by the Myanmar army.
Momtaz Begum, 31, holding her three-year-old son in her lap, said in tears, “The army killed my husband.”
“They raped me and torched my house, they stabbed my six-year-old daughter in the head. I have learned that there will be a trial of Aung San Suu Kyi and the army. We demand the trial of Suu Kyi and the military,” she said. “Why did they kill our innocent people, our kids? Why did they torture and rape our women? We demand justice.”
The Rohingya have inhabited Rakhine for centuries, but Buddhist-majority Myanmar denies them citizenship, insisting that they were Muslim foreigners hailing from Bangladesh.