SNP MP urges UK government to back Rohingya genocide charges

An SNP MP is urging the UK government to back genocide charges against Myanmar, following the release of a damning United Nations report into the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West, has written to the Foreign Secretary, calling on the UK to use its position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to send top Myanmar generals at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

A UN report published this week outlines conclusive evidence of “the gravest crimes under international law,” including indiscriminate killing, rape and torture, which Monaghan has called “one of the worst atrocities of the 21st Century.”

However, as Myanmar is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the court, a referral to the ICC would need the backing of the five permanent Security Council members – of which China is unlikely to agree.

Monaghan regularly raises the plight of the Rohingya in the House of Commons, including the protection of unaccompanied children from traffickers and of young women who are victims of rape by the Myanmar military.

Commenting, Carol Monaghan MP said:

“One year since the Rohingya refugee crisis began, those responsible for these crimes have faced no repercussions.

“What has occurred in Rakhine State is one of the worst atrocities of the 21st Century and, currently, the International Criminal Court is the only real hope for victims to see justice.

“The United Nations report published this week states that Myanmar military officials should face prosecution for acting with “genocidal intent” and that investigators have stated the situation should be referred to the ICC.

“The UK Government, as a penholder at the UN Security Council, has the power and influence to help bring perpetrators to justice through the ICC.

“They must use they position to echo and back these calls.”

The full text of Carol Monaghan MP’s letter to the Foreign Secretary can be found below:

Dear Jeremy,

The plight of the Rohingya Muslims is an issue I have repeatedly raised in the House of Commons Chamber. Many of my constituents have contacted me regarding the specific plight of Rohingya children, and the lack of accountability for the perpetrators.

Indiscriminate attacks on the Rohingya by the Myanmar military have included grave violations against children as listed in the UN’s Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. Children have been burned alive in their homes, and girls as young as five have been targeted for brutal sexual violence.

Almost a year on, those responsible for these crimes have faced no repercussions. The UK Government, as the penholder for Myanmar at the United Nations Security Council, has the power and influence to help bring perpetrators to justice through the International Criminal Court.

I note that Myanmar recently announced that it is launching a national Commission of Inquiry. However I am concerned that the Commission will not meet minimal standards of credibility or impartiality due to Myanmar’s longstanding culture of impunity.

What has occurred in Rakhine State is one of the worst atrocities of the 21st Century and, currently, the International Criminal Court is the only real hope for victims to see justice. I note the UN report published this week stating that Myanmar military officials should face prosecution for acting with “genocidal intent” and that investigators have stated the situation should be referred to the International Criminal Court. I urge the UK Government to echo and back these calls.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Carol Monaghan MP

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