Aung San Suu Kyi condemned in court for ignoring sexual violence against Myanmar's Rohingya

Aung San Suu Kyi condemned in court for ignoring sexual violence against Myanmar's Rohingya
Aung San Suu Kyi condemned in court for ignoring sexual violence against Myanmar's Rohingya

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised in the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) over her failure to address sexual violence carried out against the Rohingya.

Lawyers, seeking to halt what they have said is the ongoing genocide perpetrated by the military in the country, hit out at the Nobel Prize winner in court saying she had ignored “unspeakable” crimes and sexual violence committed against Myanmar’s Muslim minority.

"We heard nothing about sexual violence from Myanmar yesterday, not a single word about it," lawyer Paul Reicher told the world court.

"Because it is undeniable and unspeakable, they chose to ignore it completely. I can't really blame them. I would hate having to be the one to defend it," he added.

Ms Suu Kyi, who testified for the first time before the court in The Hague on Wednesday, looked on impassively during Mr Reicher’s argument.

Emergency legal proceedings at the United Nation’s top court to decide whether Myanmar’s military has committed genocide against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority are ongoing.

The Gambia, which has brought the case on behalf of other Muslim Nations, requested the hearings and alleges the atrocities against the Rohingya continue.

In her own testimony before the court on Wednesday, Ms Suu Kyi said the allegations of a genocide in the Rohingya’s Rakhine State was misleading.

"Regrettably The Gambia has placed before the court a misleading and incomplete picture of the situation in Rakhine state," she told the ICJ, trying to play down the sectarian violence in the region by saying the problems go back centuries.

The UN’s own investigators have said around 10,000 people, including women and children, may have been killed during Myanmar’s military crackdown. As a result more than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh where they live in the world’s biggest refugee camp, Kutupalong in Cox’s Bazar.

Ms Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her dogged opposition to Myanmar's military, has been roundly criticised for defending it in the face of the ICJ case.

The International Human Rights Organisation Amnesty International has said in a statement her denials to the court are “deliberate, deceitful and dangerous”.

“The exodus of more than three quarters of a million people from their homes and country was nothing but the result of an orchestrated campaign of murder, rape and terror,” the NGO’s Regional Director Nicholas Bequelin said.

“While attention is focused on Aung San Suu Kyi today, let’s recall that this case is really about justice for the Rohingya community ... who are at risk of further crimes and urgently need protection,” he added.

Updated: December 12, 2019 07:26 PM

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