Trial of Burmese soldiers under universal jurisdiction
Nilratan Halder |
Dec. 02, 2021, 9:42 p.m.
Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, the Argentinian courts have decided to hold a trial against the Burmese army, including army general Min Aung Hlaing and other senior officers, accusing the armed forces of genocide against them. Rohingya. As the very first court case involving one of the worst crimes against an ethnic population in modern history, it marks a momentous development in terms of protecting the rights of the oppressed and sending a clear message of opposition to the brutality resorted to by usurpers of power.
The spirit inherent in universal jurisdiction is that some crimes are so outrageous and horrific that they can be tried anywhere in the world. Although the Burmese Organization of Rohingya UK (BROUK) appealed to the Argentinian justice to open such a case in November 2019, it was the Argentine Federal Criminal Court in Buenos Aires which ruled on November 26 in favor humanitarian justice for the victims of systematic persecution and genocide.
Well, the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court are investigating the genocide case separately. Thus, the question can be asked whether the opening of a case by the Argentine court adds value to the trial. The United Nations has maintained that it has all the makings of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Curiously, Aung San Suu Kyi, when she was briefly in power, even defended military action in Rakhine province by appearing before the International Court of Justice on December 10, 2019. Now detained by the same military junta, she faces to charges of electoral fraud, corruption. and abuse of power among a host of other charges.
Obviously, the trial held against the military by the highest UN court is taking a long time without providing any redress to the injured party or punishing the perpetrators. International political clout is to blame for such delays as there is an urgent need to condemn and throw the oppressors in the dustbin of history. Unfortunately, crimes against humanity are overlooked with geopolitical interests in mind.
The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court are thus transformed into toothless tigers. In such a situation, the symbolic value of a trial before international jurisdiction is immense. First, it consolidates the unity of peoples who fight for the rights of ethnic groups around the world. Second, it works as an awakening of people’s conscience against all kinds of human rights violations, especially those of the ethnic minority.
As long as the military junta is supported by the big players on the international scene, it will not give in to any pressure or be able to mock the verdicts handed down by international or universal courts. In the case of the mass extermination of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was no such support from the big players and the crisis of humanity was able to be resolved, even if it came at a price. Muslims in Rakhine are not fortunate enough to have the unanimous support of all the major international powers. They are being left behind.
Bangladesh, which has hosted 1.1 million Rohingya refugees on humanitarian grounds, is forced to suffer multidimensional adverse effects due to the huge number of stateless Rohingya. Along with the financial burden, the social costs are heavy, with Myanmar encouraging the smuggling of deadly drugs from there to Bangladesh through Rohingya links and inciting anti-social groups to destabilize order and peace in the camps. The proliferation of drug trafficking and other crimes on and along the underground routes between Myanmar and Bangladesh has become a source of serious concern.
The military junta is playing all its assets to block the repatriation of the Rohingyas. If a regular army can commit cold-blooded murder against its own people by demonstrating against the military regime and demanding the return of power to the people’s representatives, it becomes blind to its abomination. Nothing beautiful and good, let alone democratic values ââand ethical considerations, can be expected.
The trial under universal jurisdiction thus announces the moral point of view of the righteous who ostracize the monsters of modern times in unequivocal terms and convict them of crimes against humanity. The Usurper Rule does not receive official approval even from their supporters who make secret deals in order to save their reputation on the international stage. It’s really painful because political intrigues take precedence over humanitarian causes.
Universal jurisdiction declares the moral rights of the champions of humanity against the monstrosity of evil powers and their secret cohorts. This should strengthen the moral obligation of the international community by building on the resolution adopted at the 76th United Nations General Assembly. Introduced by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the European Union (EU), the resolution titled âThe human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmarâ was first adopted by consensus. The resolution called for the repatriation of the Rohingya and other minorities driven out by the Myanmar junta.
This marks the start of increasing diplomatic pressure on the Burmese military with the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. joining the two blocks. The issue of the repatriation of the Rohingyas thus arises and perhaps those absent from the UN session will see the merit of supporting the resolution for the repatriation and rehabilitation of the homeless on their own soil.