More than 100 UK MPs have called on the British government to make an intervention supporting The Gambia's Rohingya genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as human rights violations against the Rohingyas continue.
"Ending impunity is essential not only to ensure justice and uphold international law, but also to deter further international crimes by the military in Myanmar," according to a letter to the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab MP, issued on December 17.
Rushanara Ali and Jeremy Hunt, co-chairs of All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Rights of the Rohingya, signed the letter on behalf of 104 UK MPs, who said, "We are convinced that if the United Kingdom joins the case, it will bring significant added value, both legally and symbolically."
The Gambia has brought proceedings against Myanmar for breach of the Genocide Convention, in response to Myanmar's treatment of the Rohingya, a minority ethnic group who live in Rakhine State in Myanmar.
More than 750,000 Rohingya fled a brutal military campaign and took shelter in Bangladesh.
The Gambia has ordered a provisional measure, requiring Myanmar to take steps to protect the Rohingya who remain in Myanmar, and submit regular reports to the Court. Canada and Netherlands have already made interventions to the case.
It said the United Kingdom has traditionally led the world in promoting human rights in Myanmar. UK is now the 'penholder' at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the founders of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI).
"At the same time, given our leading role, and our status as penholder at the UNSC, our failure to join the case could unintentionally send the wrong signal to the military regarding our commitment to addressing impunity."
With Russia and China blocking a full referral of Myanmar to the International Criminal Court by the UNSC, joining the case at the ICJ is currently the best available avenue for pursing justice and ending impunity, the letter said.
"It is essential the British government throws it full weight behind this case."
The Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK in a statement yesterday called for immediately put UK government's full support behind international justice efforts to end the genocide against the Rohingyas.
"The UK must take this opportunity to show real moral authority and stand on the right side of history regarding the Rohingya's plight. We urge the government to immediately join The Gambia's case at the ICJ and show Myanmar that the world stands united against genocide," said Tun Khin, president of BROUK.