August 25, 2021

On the 4th anniversary of the genocidal military offensive against Rohingya civilians, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is still refusing to act to hold the Burmese military accountable for their crimes.

Dominic Raab refuses to support referring Burma to the International Criminal Court, and refuses to join the genocide case at the International Court of Justice.

“Not only is Dominic Raab failing to act to support accountability for genocide of the Rohingya, he is actively resisting cross-party pressure on him to do so,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Dominic Raab refuses to join the genocide case at the International Court of Justice, despite cross-party support for him to do so. His failure to act makes no sense either in terms of promoting accountability, or politically for himself and his own reputation as an embattled Foreign Secretary who says he wants to support human rights.”

On 25th August 2017 the Burmese military launched a pre-planned attack against ethnic Rohingya civilians in Rakhine State, Burma. Around 800,000 Rohingya were forced to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Thousands of people were killed and raped. The majority of the Rohingya forced to flee were children.

UN investigators have concluded that what took place was genocide and called for Burma to be referred to the International Criminal Court, but despite Foreign Office Minister Mark Field stating in October 2017 that the UK would support a referral if the UN supported that approach, the British government is still refusing to say it supports a referral.

At the same time Dominic Raab is refusing to join the genocide case at the International Court of Justice.  While claiming international leadership on addressing human rights in Burma, it was in fact Gambia which brought the genocide case to the court, with Dominic Raab watching from the sidelines and resisting cross-party pressure in the UK to join the case.

The cross-party Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament published a report in July 2021 calling on the British government to join the case.

104 MPs backed a Parliamentary Motion calling on the British government to join the ICJ case and support ICC referral.

104 MPs and Lords, including former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, wrote to Dominic Raab calling on him to join the case at the ICJ.

The Labour Party supports joining the case at the ICJ.

As does the Liberal Democrat party.

Rohingya community organisations and international human rights and humanitarian organisations have also called on the British government to join the case at the ICJ.

Burma Campaign UK has published a briefing paper detailing the hypocrisy and inconsistencies of Dominic Raab’s stated support for accountability whilst at the same time steadfastly refusing to take action to support accountability.


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