International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors will visit refugee camps in Bangladesh later this week as part of an examination into a mass exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar that began in August 2017, Bangladeshi officials said Wednesday.
The ICC team was due to arrive on Friday in Cox’s Bazar – the southeastern district that hosts most of the Rohingya camps – and stay until March 12, a police official said.
“They will hold meetings with the Rohingya refugees. We have been asked to ensure their security,” Md Iqbal Hossain, the additional superintendent of police in the district, told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.
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The purpose of the visit was a preliminary examination and not an investigation, the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor said Wednesday in a statement emailed to BenarNews, adding that such visits were standard practice.
“[T]he delegation will not engage in any evidence collection in relation to alleged crimes,” the statement said. “The independent and impartial preliminary examination of the situation in Bangladesh/Myanmar is on-going and following its normal course.”
The team will conduct its examination less than a week after the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) unanimously adopted a resolution to pursue legal recourse through the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to seek accountability and justice for large-scale human rights violations committed against Rohingya in Myanmar.
The ICJ differs from the International Criminal Court in that it settles disputes between nations. The ICC, on the other hand, prosecutes individuals suspected of committing crimes against humanity.
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On Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reported that the ICC team was already in Bangladesh.
Last week, a Bangladesh official told the U.N. Security Council that the country did not have the capacity to accept additional Rohingya refugees.
“I regret to inform the council that Bangladesh would no longer be in a position to accommodate more people from Myanmar,” Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said, according to an official transcript of the Feb. 28 meeting at the United Nations in New York.
Read more from Source: Radio Free Asia