Jeddah 23rd January 2020: The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) joins the international community in welcoming the unanimous order of ICJ, by a panel of 17 judges, concerning the admissibility of the case for trial against Myanmar for violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention vis-à-vis Rohingya Muslims but also the issuance of a binding “provisional measures” compelling the Government of Myanmar to “take all measures within its power” to prevent its military and other forces from committing or inciting genocide against the Rohingya Muslims and to preserve evidence of potential crimes against humanity.
The momentous verdict, by declaring that there was prima facie evidence of breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide and that ‘Rohingya in Myanmar remain extremely vulnerable’ with a ‘real and imminent risk of irreparable prejudice’ to their rights, has led to the triumph of reason and justice over forces of tyranny.
The Commission considers that the ICJ ruling is a first step in the right direction on the long road of a complicated legal struggle to: assuage the wounds of millions of ‘most persecuted’ Rohingya Muslims; bring the perpetrators to justice; and ensure safe return and rehabilitation of Rohingya refugees who have suffered one of the worst forms of contemporary ‘apartheid’, violence, including torture, rapes and extrajudicial killings by the Myanmar security forces.
The Commission is cognizant that the ICJ’s decisions are legally binding but, considering the past record of the Myanmar Government, it is imperative that the international community and in particular the United Nations Security Council, under article 41(2) of the ICJ Statute, should continue to weigh in to ensure that the ICJ’s “provisional measures” are respected and implemented in letter and spirit by the Government of Myanmar.
Finally, the Commission appreciated the relevant OIC Member States and the OIC General Secretariat for their spirited efforts in presenting the case against Myanmar before the ICJ in an effective manner and encouraged them to continue to pursue and defend the case to its logical conclusion. The Commission also called upon all relevant actors of the international community to extend fullest cooperation and support to the OIC in pursuit of this noble cause.