Home Asian News The Trap of International Justice in Myanmar - The Diplomat

The Trap of International Justice in Myanmar – The Diplomat


Today, a group representing Myanmar’s overthrown civilian government announced that it had gathered 180,000 evidence of human rights violations by the country’s military, and they hope to eventually prosecute. criminal cases against high-ranking generals.

The announcement was given by the Representative Committee for Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a group of parliamentarians from the ousted National League for Democracy government on February 1, an event that plunged the country. panic.

“CRPH has received 180,000 items of evidence. This evidence points to the military’s widespread human rights violations, ”the group said in a statement brief statement posted on social networks. These include more than 540 illegal executions, 10 deaths of prisoners in custody, torture, illegal detention and the use of disproportionate force against peaceful protests.

In the nine weeks since the military took power, the Association for Support of Political Prisoners announced that at least 581 people was killed by security forces, a figure it admits is probably an underestimation.

The CRPH, the government’s nuclear organization that has emerged in opposition to the military junta, says its lawyers are scheduled to meet today with officials from the United Nations Independent Investigation Mechanism. to Myanmar (IIMM). The statement said that the meeting “aimed to discuss modalities of dialogue and cooperation between Myanmar (operated through CRPH) and IIMM regarding the atrocities committed by the military.”

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IIMM was established by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018 to probe the Myanmar army’s brutal campaign against Muslim Rohingya communities in the western Rakhine state, causing more than 700,000 people to cross the border. to Bangladesh. IIMM is tasked with gathering evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law and preparing the case for the final criminal prosecution against those deemed responsible.

The CRPH announcement expresses the hope that if and when the government is forced to give up power, there will be enough evidence to accuse senior leaders of the atrocities they have committed since. coup, not previous crime. This increases the likelihood that perpetrators of serious crimes will be held accountable to victims and their families, whether in domestic courts or international agencies such as the International Criminal Court. (ICC).

While such evidence opens the path to justice at some indeterminate future time, it also raises a difficult question in the short term: whether working for justice now does. complicates the pursuit of victory by the anti-Myanmar movement, and whether the threat of the crackdown on top members of the prosecuted army may make them less likely to compromise or accept defeat. lose.

This is a point of contention so far, as so far there has been little indication that Myanmar’s government is willing to compromise or bend the will of the protest movement. But with the CRPH and its parallel national unity government facing a tough march against its well-armed and ruthless adversary, there is reason to question the wisdom of closure of all exits for military leadership.

As such, the legal impetus of CRPH includes the widespread lack of international criminal mechanisms, which provide weak deterrence to the execution of atrocities, while sometimes sufficient. threatens to act as an incentive to abuse leaders to loosen their grip.

Indeed, some observers have argued that the threat of ICC referral should be among the coercive tools used by the United Nations to put pressure on the authorities, which does not seem to stop to ask whether the threat of Lieutenant General Min Aung Hlaing is threatened. and his companions with a cell in The Hague were more likely to surrender, or less.

The peaceful settlement of conflicts and civil war often requires messy political compromises. To give a notable example, the victory of the People’s Power Movement in the Philippines in 1986 was due to the United States’ willingness to allow Ferdinand Marcos to travel safely to Hawaii. (The US Air Force even provided a C-130 transport plane to bring Marcos, his family and their rogue spoils into exile.) Without such assurances, and threatened. threaten to be prosecuted for which he deserved, things could have turned out differently.

Certainly, no two cases are exactly alike, and in each case the pursuit of justice and peace would be appropriate to the greater or lesser extent – but a neat convergence of the two purposes. never taken for granted.

Myanmar’s struggle has a long way to go and its end result is uncertain. If it does end up in the restoration of civilian government and some form of democratic rule, it is more likely that the journey will include its unpleasant trade-offs and compromises.



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