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Fortify Rights: Anniversary of the Myanmar Coup




Please see below a quote attributable to John Quinley III, Director at Fortify Rights, on the third anniversary of the Myanmar coup on February 1, 2023:

 

“On the third anniversary of the attempted and failed military coup in Myanmar, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and his murderous junta are committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and continue to commit genocide with complete impunity.”

 

“Since the February 1, 2021 coup, the junta military has been killing unarmed civilians, razing down villages, destroying religious structures, and arresting activists, journalists, and politicians with impunity. After Operation 1027, it has continued targeting and killing innocent civilians and displacing whole communities across Myanmar.”

 

“The international community must, at long last, take concrete action to hold Myanmar’s Generals to account. International Criminal Court (ICC) member states can and must now refer the situation in Myanmar to the Prosecutor using Article 14 of the ICC’s statute. Without adequate intervention by the international community, the well-oiled killing machine that is the Myanmar junta will continue unabated.”

 

Background:

 

Since February 1, 2021, Fortify Rights has documented the Myanmar military junta’s war crimes and crimes against humanity against various communities, as well as its continued genocide of the Rohingya people

 

Article 14 of the Rome Statute empowers ICC member states to request the Prosecutor to investigate international crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction. While Myanmar is not an ICC member state, the National Unity Government (NUG)—the body representing Myanmar’s democratically-elected leaders—lodged a 12(3) declaration with the Court’s registrar on July 17, 2021, accepting the jurisdiction of the Court for international crimes committed on Myanmar territory since July 1, 2002, and into the future.

 

In a 46-page legal analysis, Fortify Rights proved how the NUG can legitimately grant jurisdiction to the ICC under international law.

 

The NUG’s 12(3) declaration opens the way for ICC member states to make Article 14 referrals of the situation in Myanmar to the Prosecutor. Such referrals are the most direct and effective mechanism for prompting an ICC investigation into genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Myanmar.


ICC member states have made Article 14 referrals on several occasions, including for situations in non-ICC member states, most recently for the Ukraine situation

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