Survivors of army abuses in Myanmar have lodged a felony criticism in Germany, asking prosecutors to research and convey to trial these accountable for committing atrocities throughout crackdowns on opponents of the February 2021 coup, and in opposition to the Rohingya minority.
Fortify Rights, an advocacy group, introduced the submitting of the criticism on Tuesday.
The group mentioned the case, which includes 16 people from Myanmar, was filed with the German Workplace of the Federal Prosecutor final week.
Matthew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Fortify Rights, mentioned the criticism was filed in Germany due to its common jurisdiction legal guidelines, which permits for the prosecution of crimes regardless of the place they happen.
“Germany is in a novel place to assist thwart impunity in Myanmar,” Smith advised a information convention in Bangkok, Thailand.
“The criticism offers new proof proving that the Myanmar army systematically killed, raped, tortured, imprisoned, disappeared, persecuted and dedicated different acts that quantity to genocide, crimes in opposition to humanity and struggle crimes in violation of German regulation,” he mentioned.
“Members of the army junta shouldn’t really feel secure from justice on this world, they usually have to be held accountable.”
There was no rapid remark from Myanmar’s army.
The criticism comes days earlier than the second anniversary of Senior Basic Min Aung Hlaing seizing energy from the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1.
The facility seize has plunged Myanmar – which was going through accusations of genocide over the 2017 marketing campaign in opposition to the Rohingya – into battle.
Enraged by the army’s brutal repression of peaceable protests, civilian militias have taken up arms, whereas deposed legislators have arrange a parallel authorities. Thwarted in his bid to consolidate his coup, Min Aung Hlaing responded with much more violence. His forces have engaged in arbitrary killings and torture and burned complete villages to the bottom in acts that the United Nations says could quantity to struggle crimes.
Fortify Rights mentioned it was pressured to hunt German assist due to the UN Safety Council’s refusal to refer the Myanmar army to the Worldwide Legal Court docket.
It mentioned roughly half of the 16 people in its criticism had been Rohingya who had survived crackdowns in Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017, whereas the others had been victims of post-coup atrocities in states and areas all through the nation in 2021 and 2022.
They embody members of the Arakanese, Burman, Chin, Karen, Karenni and Mon ethnicities.
“We ask that for the primary time in historical past, the Myanmar army be held accountable for all of its crimes in opposition to all ethnic teams,” mentioned Pavani Nagaraja Bhat, an investigations affiliate at Fortify Rights.
“Regardless of coming from completely different areas, ethnic teams and backgrounds all of the complainants have suffered deeply for the reason that coup, they’ve misplaced houses, members of the family, livelihoods, their freedoms, and plenty of nonetheless stay in a continuing state of concern regardless of dwelling exterior their international locations. What they’ve witnessed and survived is horrific,” she advised reporters. “By taking part on this criticism, the complainants are saying sufficient is sufficient.”
People within the case embody Nickey Diamond, who’s at the moment dwelling in Germany.
“We belief in Germany to open an investigation and search justice for genocide, crimes in opposition to humanity, and struggle crimes dedicated by the army and its leaders in Myanmar,” he mentioned. “That is the time to finish impunity and make sure the army perpetrators and others not get away with their crimes.”
Others within the case embody a 51-year-old Rohingya lady who accused the safety forces of killing seven members of her household throughout the 2017 crackdown. She additionally mentioned she had heard people below the army’s management raping her daughter-in-law whereas safety forces beat her in a room subsequent door. She additionally reported witnessing piles of useless our bodies of Rohingya civilians in her village and troopers stabbing, beating, and killing quite a few Rohingya males and youngsters.
“The Myanmar authorities and army have been making an attempt to fade our Rohingya group for 50 years,” she mentioned in a press release. “As a Rohingya lady, I would like justice for the genocide in order that it doesn’t occur once more.”
One other complainant was Thi Da, a 35-year-old mom of three, who accused the army of forcibly disappearing her husband in 2021.
“I’m nonetheless indignant with the [Myanmar junta] troopers,” the ethnic Chin lady mentioned in a press release. “They don’t consider us as individuals and deal with us like animals or objects.”
Fortify Rights mentioned its major goal was for the German Federal Prosecutor to open an investigation, acquire and protect proof for prosecutions and situation arrest warrants in opposition to these accountable for the crimes dedicated in Myanmar.
It mentioned that German prosecutors are at the moment conducting greater than 100 investigations into worldwide crimes associated to different international locations and contexts. These embody Russian struggle crimes in Ukraine.
It famous that German courts have additionally heard instances coping with torture in Syrian prisons in addition to crimes by members of ISIL or ISIS, together with in opposition to the Yazidi group.