div>The International Criminal Court prosecutor on Thursday filed a request with judges to open a formal investigation of crimes against humanity allegedly committed against Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she wants to investigate crimes of deportation, inhumane acts and persecution allegedly committed as Rohingya were driven from Myanmar, which is not a member of the global court, into Bangladesh, an ICC member.
The announcement marked a significant step in efforts to deliver justice to victims of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises of recent years. ICC judges will carefully study the 146-page written request before deciding whether to authorize an investigation.
Bensouda said that a preliminary probe established “a reasonable basis to believe that at least 700,000 Rohingya people were deported from Myanmar to Bangladesh through a range of coercive acts, and that great suffering or serious injury has been inflicted on the Rohingya through violating their right to return to their state of origin.”
Her written request said that the coercive acts allegedly committed by Myanmar’s armed forces, border guards and police included “killings; rapes and other forms of sexual violence; acts of physical and psychological violence intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health; and the destruction of property including homes, livestock and entire villages.”
Last year, the court ruled that it has jurisdiction over alleged deportation of Rohingya to Bangladesh because part of the crimes allegedly happened in Bangladesh.
Myanmar’s military has been accused of widespread rights violations leading about 700,000 Rohingya to flee the country since August 2017. Bensouda said she wants her investigation to date back to October 2016.