Rohingya refugees reacted to the hearing by the International Court of Justice on The Gambia’s file against Myanmar over accusations of genocide against the minority. They were speaking at a camp near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh on Tuesday.
“The world filed this case against them. Now we hope that through this trial, we will get our citizenship, our rights, safety, our lands and belongings, what they took from us. Also, we want dignity and to be recognised as the rest of the 135 ethnic minorities in Myanmar. This is our expectation from the international court,” said Rohingya refugee Amir Ahmed.
In 2017 Rohingya militants carried out a series of attacks against Myanmar security forces, leaving 12 police officers dead. It triggered a crackdown by the Myanmar military, with widespread reports of indiscriminate killings, arson, looting and rape. More than 730,000 Rohingya fled the country.
“On 25th August 2017, we finally left our own country because of the tortures by the Myanmar authorities. And we fled here to Bangladesh. I am thankful to the Gambia because they filed the case on behalf of us. Now [Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San] Suu Kyi is facing trial in an international court. Suu Kyi herself snatched our right to vote in 2014. Suu Kyi will never do anything for our benefit. She will only cause us harm,” said Rohingya refugee Sirajul Islam.
The Gambia is seeking provisional measures to protect the rights of Rohingya people under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.