International court judges authorize Rohingya investigation

File photo taken on October 9, 201 of Rohingya refugees walking with their belongings after crossing the Naf river from Myanmar into Bangladesh in Whaikhyang. Former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is among several top Myanmar officials named November 13, in a case filed in Argentina for crimes against Rohingya Muslims. (AFP)
Updated 14 November 2019

International court judges authorize Rohingya investigation

  • Former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was among several top Myanmar officials named in suit
  • Myanmar’s military began a counterinsurgency campaign in August 2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: International Criminal Court judges on Thursday approved a request from prosecutors to open an investigation into crimes committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

The court said that it has jurisdiction over crimes partially committed in Bangladesh, which is a member state of the court. Myanmar, which is not a member of the global court, has been accused of committing widespread abuses in a campaign against the Rohingya.

Myanmar’s military began a counterinsurgency campaign in August 2017 in response to an insurgent attack. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape what has been called an ethnic cleansing campaign involving mass rapes, killings and the torching of homes.

Former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was among several top Myanmar officials named on Wednesday Nov. 13, in a case filed in Argentina.

The court said in a statement that a panel of judges who studied Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to open an investigation concluded that there are grounds to believe widespread acts of violence were committed “that could qualify as the crimes against humanity of deportation across the Myanmar-Bangladesh border and persecution on grounds of ethnicity and/or religion against the Rohingya population.”

The decision came just days after Gambia, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, filed a case at the International Court of Justice accusing Myanmar of genocide in its treatment of the Rohingya.

Both courts are based in The Hague. The International Criminal Court seeks to convict individuals responsible for crimes, while the International Court of Justice settles disputes between nations.


Afghans honor Japanese aid worker killed in ambush

Updated 52 min 30 sec ago

Afghans honor Japanese aid worker killed in ambush

  • On Saturday, in a memorial ceremony after accompanying the body to Kabul airport, Ghani called Nakamura a hero
  • “Nakamura was a great personality who dedicated his life to the goodness and strengthening of Afghanistan’s deprived people,” Ghani said

KABUL: A 73-year-old Japanese aid worker killed in an ambush outside Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan has been described as a “hero” by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Testu Nakamura and five fellow aid workers died when gunmen attacked their car on Wednesday.
Tributes to the popular aid worker continued to pour in on Saturday with candlelight vigils held in different areas of the country. Schools erected posters of the aid worker while the national airline displayed images of him on its aircraft. 
“The level of grief and respect expressed by Afghans show how much people loved him. None of our current leaders would receive so much respect and attention should any of them die like this Japanese aid worker,” Rasoul Dad, a civil servant, told Arab News on Saturday.
Nakamura’s wife, daughter and three of his colleagues, including a childhood friend, arrived in Kabul on Friday as the Afghan government prepared to return his body to Japan.
The Afghan leader met them at the presidential palace and described Nakamura as a “hardworking personality.”
On Saturday, in a memorial ceremony after accompanying the body to Kabul airport, Ghani called Nakamura a hero.
“Nakamura was a great personality who dedicated his life to the goodness and strengthening of Afghanistan’s deprived people,” Ghani said.
The Afghan national flag was placed on Nakamura’s coffin as his family, accompanied by Japanese Ambassador Mitsuji Suzuka, left for Japan.
Nakamura, who spent more than half his life helping Afghan refugees as a doctor in Peshawar and later worked on several projects in the country, has become a national hero for many Afghans.
He was granted honorary citizenship several years ago after deciding to remain in the country despite the attempted abduction and murder of one of his colleagues.