Foreign companies “knowingly funding criminal activities of the Tatmadaw” may be liable as accessories for facilitating their crimes, and should be investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC), says a new legal submission to the ICC on behalf of victims of the Tula Toli massacre.
Tula Toli was a Rohingya village in which hundreds of Rohingya were killed and raped, including children drowned and burned alive, during the August 2017 Burmese military offensive against Rohingya civilians.
Legal representatives of 86 victims from Tula Toli made a submission to the International Criminal Court last week in support of the Prosecutor of the Court being authorised to conduct a full investigation.
In the submission the victims explain that an investigation is important partly because of the hope that it gives for accountability, but also because of the possibility that it will deter further crimes.
In relation to the criminal liability of international companies helping to fund the military, the submission stated:
“…the Prosecution should investigate other entities involved in facilitating crimes. The FFM has identified a number of companies (Burmese and foreign) whose officers may be liable as accessories, including for knowingly funding criminal activities of the Tatmadaw; supplying weapons or equipment for those activities; or their involvement in construction projects preventing the return of refugees.”
Burma Campaign UK, which publishes a ‘Dirty List’ of companies doing business with the Burmese military, supports the call for companies funding the Burmese military to be prosecuted.
“Companies doing business with the military are funding genocide, and should be held criminally liable for doing so”, said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Chief Executives in the USA, Europe and Asia should wake up to the fact that not only is it morally wrong to fund a military which is violating international law, it could also result in their being investigated as accessories to those crimes.”
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The 86 victims of the Tula Toli massacre are being represented by Megan Hirst and James Kirk of Doughty Street Chambers, London UK.