Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, joined the panel at a roundtable discussion held in London on Monday by the Justice For Rohingya Minority on the genocide against the Rohingya.
Also on the panel was Catherine West MP, who said that Britain should use its influence at the United Nations Security Council and table a motion to bring Burmese government and military officials before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
“The UK can play a leading role in ending the crisis and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this awful crime,” Catherine West said. “As a permanent member of the Security Council, the UK should push for a solution, whether it be sanctions or prosecution by the ICC, to bring an end to the genocide”.
The new Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, promised during today’s debate in the House of Commons said he would raise the case of the imprisoned Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, when he visits Burma.
“The two journalists were doing what is in the very best traditions of all journalism: exposing evil and bad things that Governments do not want exposed. We are very concerned, and I want to visit Burma/Myanmar to talk about all these issues and will certainly raise the issue with the Burmese authorities”, the Foreign Secretary said.
The UN’s Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar calls for the Burmese military to face the International Criminal Court for genocide as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Yet, as Mark Farmaner of Burma Campaign UK told the Diplomat, no world power has come forward to state their acceptance of the Fact-Finding Mission’s recommendations and seek their immediate implementation.
Read the UN report
The Karen Community Worldwide welcomed the UN report calling for the Burma military to be referred to the International Criminal Court to be investigated for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against the country’s ethnic people.
The Karen Community Worldwide pointed out in their statement, endorsed by 36 Karen organisations, that the UN report also validates their repeatedly raised concerns that it is not yet safe for Karen refugees and IDPs to return to their homes, as the Burma Army continues to commit systematic crimes with impunity.
International human rights groups support the UN report call for the Burma military to be investigated by the International Criminal Court, reports Karen News. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Save the Children, Fortify Rights and Burma Campaign UK called for the ICC to investigate.
Burma Campaign UK director, Mark Farmaner, said “It is simply not credible for the British government to claim it supports justice and accountability and then refuse to support referring Burma to the International Criminal Court, which was specifically set up for cases like this.”
Facebook’s ban of Tatmadaw (military) officials and organisations coincided with the release of a scathing report of Burma’s military leaders by the UN Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission. This is the first time Facebook has blocked members of the military in any country.
The company has taken down 18 Facebook accounts, one Instagram account and 52 Facebook pages belonging to Min Aung Hlaing and 19 other individuals and organisations, which were followed by almost 12 million people. It said this was to “prevent them from using our service to further inflame ethnic and religious tensions”.
“Given the weakness of international sanctions in response to the crisis, which have avoided targeting Min Aung Hlaing, Facebook shutting down his Facebook page is probably the strongest sanction he has faced so far,” said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK.
Mark Farmaner, of the Burma Campaign UK, told The Times: “The [report] specifically stated it is up to the international community to act. It is disturbing that, even with a finding of genocide, the Foreign Office have not accepted the recommendations and come out in support of an ICC referral.”
The UN report on violence inflicted on the Rohingya and other minorities is damning, but whether the guilty will ever face justice is open to serious question, says the Guardian. Much now depends on the willingness of the UK and other UN security council members to forcefully pursue the allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity.
“It is simply not credible for the British government to claim it supports justice and accountability and then refuse to support referring Burma to the ICC, which was specifically set up for cases like this,” said Mark Farmaner of Burma Campaign UK. “It doesn’t get worse than genocide.”
Burma’s military has been accused of genocide against the Rohingya in Rakhine State in a damning UN report that alleged the army was responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, against minorities across the country. The UN mission called for Burma to be investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to the Guardian report, minutes after the report was released, Facebook removed 18 accounts and 52 pages associated with the Burmese military, including that of Min Aung Hlaing.
A UN report published today has said Burma must be investigated for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The UN Fact Finding Mission said “top military generals, including Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine State, Kachin and Shan States,” and has called for Burma to be referred to the International Criminal Court.
The UK must stop protecting Min Aung Hlaing from justice and support referring Burma to the International Criminal Court.