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Myanmar must abide by ICJ verdict, says  UN Special Rapporteur

Published : Friday, 24 January, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 225
Diplomatic Correspondent

Yanghee Lee

Yanghee Lee

The visiting UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee said in Dhaka on Thursday that Myanmar must abide by the order issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
"The international community should also be alert to make sure that Myanmar does not ignore any responsibility what ICJ asked," she said at a press conference at Le Méridien in Dhaka in the afternoon.
She was sharing her experience with media on the completion of her final mission carried out between January 15 to 23 this year in Thailand and Bangladesh.
Expressing disappointment, over the Chinese and Russian stand over Rohingya issues, she said ,  China and Russia for opposing concrete action against Myanmar, a nation accused of genocide against the Rohingyas.
"China cannot achieve its dream of being a global leader without respecting human rights and global justice," Lee said.
She was speaking on the brutal military crackdown against Rohingyas since August 2017 when some 750,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh. UN Fact-Finding Mission described it as having genocidal intent.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee suggested forming an international ad-hoc tribunal, which will work as complementary to ongoing efforts on accountability and justice front.
Highlighting some new observations of different organizations and states  on Rohingyas issues, Lee said there have some significant achievements over the last two years on justice and accountability front but to ensure the Rohingyas rights in Myanmar, we need to do more.
The UN Rapporteur is visiting Bangladesh from Friday, especially the Rohingya camps at Cox's Bazar to know the exact situation on ground.
After the Rohingya influx in 2017, Lee visited Cox's bazar several times, she wanted to visit Myanmar also but Myanmar government denied. However, Lee visited Thailand and Bangladesh to speak to interlocutors and receive information about the situation in Myanmar from both sides of the border.
"This time I found a "deep desire" among Rohingyas about their return to their place of origin in Rakhine State...they wants to know about their family member and neighbors," Prof Lee said.
She expressed frustration over the repeated denial by the Myanmar authorities. "I am disappointed. I must speak the truth."       
"Myanmar's denial of access has not dissuaded me from doing everything I can to impartially report to the international community accurate firsthand information that has been provided to me during my visits to the region," Lee said earlier.
She said her mission and the end of her tenure come at a critical time for human rights in Myanmar and she will continue to strive to 'do her utmost' to improve the situation.
Lee has held the mandate of Special Rapporteur since 2014 and enjoyed biannual visits to the country until she was denied entry from December 2017, according to a message received from Geneva.
Prof Lee will report to the Human Rights Council session in March 2020.

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