Seven Nobel peace laureates called on Aung San Suu Kyi to publicly acknowledge crimes, including genocide, committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN's highest court, is going to start public hearings and Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to represent Myanmar before the court on Tuesday, reports Nobel Women Initiatives.
Expressing deep concern over Suu Kyi's denial over the atrocities occurred against Rohingyas instead of condemning it, seven Nobel Peace laureates said "We call on Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, to publicly acknowledge the crimes, including genocide, committed against the Rohingya."
The Gambia filed a lawsuit in November 2019 with the International Court of Justice – the United Nations' highest court – for atrocities committed against the Rohingya by Myanmar.
The proceedings are scheduled to start on Tuesday (December 10) and Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's state counsellor, will appear before the court.
"We commend the Gambia for taking this step to hold Myanmar responsible for the genocide against the Rohingya and for advancing justice for the victims of these crimes," they said.
Just days after the International Court of Justice complaint was lodged, the International Criminal Court announced that it will be investigating crimes committed against the Rohingya.
The Rohingya, a Muslim and ethnic minority in Myanmar's Rakhine State, have suffered decades of systematic discrimination with the government of Myanmar not even recognizing them as citizen.
They said as people of peace, we urge Aung San Suu Kyi to address the systematic discrimination of the Rohingya in Rakhine State, and ensure the Rohingya's right to nationality, land ownership, freedom of movement and other fundamental rights.
"We also urge her to exercise her personal and moral responsibility towards the Rohingya and acknowledge and condemn the genocide committed under her watch."
They also said "Aung San Suu Kyi must be held criminally accountable, along with her army commanders, for crimes committed."
The bold seven Nobel laureates are-- Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate (2003) – Iran; Leymah Gbowee, (2011) – Liberia; Tawakkol Karman, (2011) – Yemen; Mairead Maguire, (1976) – Northern Ireland; Rigoberta Menchú Tum, (1992) – Guatemala; Jody Williams, (1997) – USA; and Kailash Satyarthi, (2014) – India.
Three of the Nobel Peace laureates visited refugees in the Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh in February 2018 where they listened to the stories of over 100 Rohingya women.
Since August 2017, Bangladesh has received close to 700,000 Rohingya refugees with now close to 1.1 million Rohingya living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox's Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
Not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last two years due to Myanmar's "failure" to build confidence among Rohingyas and lack of a conducive environment in Rakhine State, officials here said.
Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently is expediting their repatriation efforts but Myanmar is yet to take back its nationals from Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.