YANGON (REUTERS) – The government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi expressed “serious concern” on Friday (April 13) over a move by the International Criminal Court prosecutor seeking jurisdiction over alleged deportations of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Since August, nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar, the United Nations and aid agencies have said.
The refugees have reported killings, rape and arson on a large scale. The United States and the United Nations have described the situation as ethnic cleansing.
Myanmar has denied nearly all allegations, saying it waged a legitimate counter-insurgency operation. The government has said the army crackdown was provoked by the attacks of Rohingya militants on more than two dozen police posts and an army base last August.
In a filing made public on Monday, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court to rule whether it has jurisdiction over the alleged deportations.
An affirmative decision could pave the way for her to investigate the alleged deportations as a possible crime against humanity. One reason for the question over jurisdiction is that, while Bangladesh is a member of the court, Myanmar is not.