Dhaka, Jul 6 (EFE).- The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar on Thursday to receive the testimonies of witnesses and victims of alleged genocide of persecuted group in neighboring Myanmar.
“The ICC prosecutor and his team visited two Rohingya camps today. Our officials and representatives of Bangladesh’s foreign ministry accompanied them during the visit to the camp,” Mizanur Rahman, the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner of Bangladesh, told EFE.
Rahman said that the ICC delegation spoke separately to several Rohingya victims and witnesses in Camp 1 and Camp 12 as part of their investigation into the case.
“They sought our support, and we agreed to provide it,” said Rahman, who held a meeting with the ICC prosecutor on Wednesday in Cox’s Bazar.
Khan is currently on a four-day visit to Bangladesh from July 4–7 in connection with the ICC’s investigation into the situation of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh/Myanmar, Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said.
Khan met Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, among other officials, in Dhaka before going to Cox’s Bazar.
“Foreign Minister assured the Prosecutor of the ICC of Bangladesh’s all possible support and cooperation to the Office of the Prosecutor of ICC concerning its investigation into the Situation in Bangladesh/Myanmar (Rohingya case),” foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
The ICC, based in The Hague, authorized on Nov.14 2019 a petition from the prosecutor’s office to investigate the alleged crimes committed against the Rohingyas by the Myanmar army.
The court concluded that “the chamber accepted that there exists a reasonable basis to believe widespread and/or systematic acts of violence may have been committed that could qualify as the crimes against humanity (…) and persecution on grounds of ethnicity and/or religion against the Rohingya population.”
Myanmar is not a member of the Rome Statute, a treaty that established the ICC. So the court would not have jurisdiction in the Asian country.
However, judges authorized the investigation because it is alleged that at least part of the crimes were committed in Bangladesh, one of the 122 member countries of the Rome Statute, which recognizes the jurisdiction of the ICC created in 2002.
In January 2020, the United Nations’ International Court of Justice directed Myanmar to prevent the alleged genocide against the minority community.
Nearly 7,74, 000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, 2017, following a wave of persecution and violence in Myanmar that the UN has described as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing and possible genocide.
Myanmar does not use the term Rohingya to refer to the ethnic minority group and refuses to acknowledge them as citizens, arguing that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. EFE