Justice is key demand of Rohingyas: UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee doubts over possibility of referring Myanmar to ICC by UNSC

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Dhaka: UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Leeon Sundaylaid emphasis on “justice” for Rohingyas and holding perpetrators accountable seeking their safe and dignified return to Myanmar.

“Justice is the key demand of Rohingyas I spoke to,” she said while responding UNB question at a press conference in the city.

Asked about possibility of referring Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate atrocities committed against Rohingyas, Lee said China and Russia might not allow making that happen.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein recently urged the UN Security Council to immediately refer Myanmar to the ICC so that all allegations of crimes against humanity and genocide perpetrated against the Rohingya as well as allegations of war crimes against other ethnic groups can be investigated.

He also requested that the Human Rights Council recommends to the General Assembly the establishment of a new international, impartial and independent mechanism, complementary to the Fact-Finding Mission to assist the criminal investigation of individual perpetrators.

Lee said Rohingya people are going to stay here for longer period as the repatriation is unlikely to start anytime soon.

She laid emphasis on education, livelihoods and their dignity.

Lee said accountability for the atrocities committed is urgently needed, and must be delivered.

The Special Rapporteur arrived in Dhakaon Fridayon a 10-day visit to meet Rohingyas in various locations of Cox’s Bazar.

Lee bemoaned that the government of Myanmar continues to deny her access despite the call by the Human Rights Council for Myanmar to cooperate with her mandate.

She said she requested India too on several occasions seeking permission to visit Rohingyas living in India but she did receive no reply.

Lee wants to visit China too.

She is determined to reach out as much as possible to victims of human rights abuses in Myanmar who are located elsewhere and other locations in order to learn more about their experiences to understand better the human rights situation in Myanmar.

The Special Rapporteur spent days in Dhaka meeting UN and government officials and then travel to Cox’s Bazar where she met UN agencies, the humanitarian and protection sector, health and GBV actors, NGOs and government officials.

Following her visit to Bangladesh, the human rights expert will share her findings when she presents a report to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in October 2018.

Yanghee Lee was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014 as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar.UNB.

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