UM to host tribunal on atrocities against Rohingya

UM to host tribunal on atrocities against Rohingya

| July 4, 2017
 29 7 0 36
Dr Chandra Muzaffar who is organising committee chairman for Tribunal on the Rohingyas says witnesses will be called to testify in court-like setting.

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PETALING JAYA: A tribunal that hopes to expose claims of crimes against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups by the Myanmar government, will hold a hearing at the Universiti Malaya in September.

Social activist Dr Chandra Muzaffar, who is the organising committee chairman for the Tribunal on the Rohingyas, Kachins and other ethnic minorities, said that the tribunal wants to expose the alleged inhuman treatment and push to stop the crimes.

“The process will be similar to a hearing, with the Myanmar ethnic groups testifying before a jury.

“From there, the tribunal will make a conclusion based on oral testimonies on the atrocities and present our findings to the United Nation’s Fact Finding Mission that was tasked to send its’ official to Yangon,” he said in a press conference today.

He added that the Myanmar government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, had publicly rejected the UN’s team into the country.

Also present at the press conference was Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) chief executive Azril Mohd Amin and International Forum on Buddhist-Muslim Relations’ (BMF) secretary KV Soon.

Chandra said previously a similar tribunal was held in London, on March 6 and 7, which concluded that the UN and Asean had to take swift actions against Myanmar to stop the crimes against the minorities groups.

“The Kuala Lumpur tribunal is a continuation of the London tribunal, with more witnesses coming this time.

“We hope to make findings and present it to the public and push the Asean governments, including Myanmar, to stop the genocide,” he said.

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The activist however, lamented the findings are not legally binding and cannot be enforced by law.

“It is not legally binding but I believe that like other tribunals, such as the 2005 Citizens’ Tribunal on Iraq, it has persuasive powers.

“We hope to use it to persuade the people to stand up and speak out against the military government,” Chandra said.

Azril, who is also a lawyer added that it would be difficult for the tribunal’s findings to be pushed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be tried.

“First of all, Malaysia and Myanmar are not signatories of the Rome Statute. The Philippines and Cambodia are the only two countries in the region that ratified the Statute,” he said.

The tribunal will be held on Sept 18 to 22 at Universiti Malaya’s Law Faculty in Kuala Lumpur.

Over 300 ethnic Rohingyas, Kachins and other groups, who are refugees here are expected to testify.

 

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One thought on “UM to host tribunal on atrocities against Rohingya

  1. Wednesday, 5 July 2017
    Tribunal set to reveal findings on Rohingya at KL forum

    BY MARTIN CARVALHO

    Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/07/05/tribunal-set-to-reveal-findings-on-rohinga-at-kl-forum/#4ejozEYz11sMEEdR.99
    The international Permanent People’s Tribunal is set to announce its “verdict” on atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities in Myanmar when it convenes in Kuala Lumpur.

    International Movement For A Just World (Just) president Dr Chandra Muzaffar said the Rome-based tribunal would deliver its findings at a special forum to be held from Sept 18-22.

    “The forum will be held at Universiti Malaya law faculty’s moot court and will comprise a judge, panel members and jurors made up of experts on Myanmar, human rights and genocide,” he told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

    He said the forum would mark the conclusion of the tribunal’s inaugural State Crime Initiative held at Queen Mary University in March.

    “During the inaugural session, testimony and evidence by some 300 Myanmar Rohingya, Kachins and other minorities were presented to the tribunal.

    “For the coming concluding session, some 30 witnesses will testify before the tribunal and then a finding will be made,” he added.

    He said the tribunal’s findings would be made public and presented to Asean and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

    “The tribunal will also present its judgment and recommendations, as well as the evidence received, to the United Nations Fact Finding Mission which has been denied entry into Myanmar,” Dr Chandra added.

    Centre for Human Rights Re­­search and Advocacy chief executive Azril Mohd Amin said while the tribunal’s findings were not legally binding, it would be persuasive in nature.

    “We hope to work towards getting Asean, other countries and the United Nations to find a concrete and lasting solution for minorities such as the Rohingya and Kachin in Myanmar,” he added.

    International Forum on Buddhist-Muslim Relations secretary K.V. Soon said the findings would hopefully spur governments to do more to end the violence against the minorities in Myanmar.

    “We are concerned about the violence and hatred affecting the region and want to put a stop to it before in spills over to other countries,” he said.

    The Permanent People’s Tribunal is an independent public opinion body and has held 23 hearings on human rights issues and crimes against humanity.

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