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US News Aung San Suu Kyi begins court defense of Burma against allegations of genocide

04:40  11 december  2019
04:40  11 december  2019 Source:   foxnews.com

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BANGKOK — She could have stayed home. Nobody is forcing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi — she of the Nobel Peace Prize and fragrant flowers in her hair — to stride into the International Court of Justice on Tuesday at The Hague, where she will lead Myanmar’s defense against accusations of genocide .

Aung San Suu Kyi (/aʊŋˌsæn.suːˈtʃiː/; Burmese : အောင်ဆန်းစုကြည်; MLCTS: aung hcan: cu. krany Burmese pronunciation: [àʊɴ sʰáɴ sṵ tɕì]; born 19 June 1945) is a Burmese politician, diplomat

As hundreds of thousands of stateless Rohingya Muslims languish in squalid camps in Bangladesh, Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi is sitting a world away – some 5,000 miles at The Hague' International Court of Justice (ICJ), in the Netherlands – defending her country’s military against accusations of genocide.

“The ICJ case is the first time Myanmar will have to answer for the crimes against the Rohingya on the world stage. It will highlight the tomes of evidence of serious abuses committed by Myanmar’s military against the Rohingya collected by the UN, the US State Department, Refugees International, and many other independent groups,” senior advocate for Human Rights at Refugees International, Daniel Sullivan, told Fox News.

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Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was due at the United Nations' International Court of Justice in the Hague on Tuesday, defending against accusations of genocide . The Nobel peace laureate leads a delegation to defend against claims it tried to exterminate minority Rohingya Muslims

Aung San Suu Kyi , the de facto leader of Myanmar, will testify in front of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, where she's set to mount a defense on behalf of her country to charges of genocide against minority Muslim Rohingya. Suu Kyi , a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former

Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was once deemed an international darling of human rights having bravely faced arrest and oppression at the hands of the same military generals she is now voluntarily defending.

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves after attending a hearing in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019.  REUTERS/Yves Herman © Thomson Reuters Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves after attending a hearing in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Burma, more recently known as Myanmar, is being accused of purporting to “destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part, by the use of mass murder, rape, and other forms of sexual violence, as well as the systematic destruction by fire of their villages, often with inhabitants locked inside burning houses.”

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The country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi is set to defend those who once held her under house arrest during the hearing in The Hague in the Netherlands. The head of a UN fact-finding mission on Burma warned in October that “there is a serious risk of genocide recurring”. It also found that Burma should

Aung San Suu Kyi is due to appear at the UN's International Court of Justice in the Hague to defend Myanmar against accusations of genocide . The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will hear allegations that Myanmar committed atrocities against Muslim Rohingya. Thousands of Rohingya were killed and

For more than two years, much of the world has looked on in horror as thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been gunned down by the Buddhist-majority military, referred to as the Tatmadaw. Thousands more have allegedly been burned to death, their houses razed, raped, and almost one million have been forced to flee across the border to Bangladesh. The neighboring nation this year declared that it would not accept any more refugees.

The ICJ case was brought about by Gambia, a Muslim majority country in west Africa, on behalf of dozens of other Muslim countries. A U.N. fact-finding mission corroborated much of the allegations made with its August report accusing soldiers of “routinely and systematically employing rape, gang rape, and other violent and forced sexual acts against women, girls, boys, men, and transgender people.”

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Peace prize winner will lead her country’s defence against claims at court in Netherlands.

Almost 30 years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi was feted as a human rights defender, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. On Tuesday morning she walked into the International Court of Justice in The Hague to answer allegations of genocide conducted by Myanmar’s military. The Burmese leader led a

“All that Gambia asks is that you tell Myanmar to stop these senseless killings, to stop the acts of barbarity that continue to shock our collective conscience,” Gambia’s Attorney General and Justice Minister Abuacarr M Tambadou told the court on Tuesday. “To stop this genocide of its own people.”

Suu Kyi, who is constitutionally not allowed to assume the title of president given that she has foreign-born sons but is the shadow ruler under the guise of “State Counselor,” has declined to condemn her nation’s armed forces for such acts. Rather, she has instead toed the line of military leaders and officials who insist that the Rohingya population are illegal immigrants and “terrorists.”

“The root cause of this humanitarian issue is because of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) – the Muslim terrorist group,” U.N. Ambassador Hau Do Suan told Fox News. “They attacked against the government in Rakhine State in October 2016 and again in August 2017. This humanitarian problem was ignited by those terrorist attacks.”

Néstor Combin, Mosaddeck Hossain standing in front of a crowd: At least 370,000 of Muslim refugees have flooded into Bangladesh over the past two and a half weeks to escape recent violence in Buddhist-majority Burma © FoxNews.com At least 370,000 of Muslim refugees have flooded into Bangladesh over the past two and a half weeks to escape recent violence in Buddhist-majority Burma

That explanation has been dismissed by many Western countries and human rights groups, some of whom now believe a repatriation effort to return Rohingya, who had fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the face of ethnic cleansing - perhaps even genocide - is a potentially disastrous recipe for further persecution.

“Her response to the Rohingya crisis is already lacking, and her decision to appear in front of The Hague to defend the Burmese military against accusations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes is just another strike against her leadership,” said Olivia Enos, Senior Policy Analyst for Asian Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Sullivan concurred that Sun Kyi will likely echo arguments of denial she has been using since the start of the mass expulsion of the Rohingya.

Gambia's Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou and Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi attend a hearing in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019.  REUTERS/Yves Herman © Thomson Reuters Gambia's Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou and Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi attend a hearing in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

“For example, despite the overwhelming evidence, she earlier stood by a statement by her office claiming ‘fake rapes’ of Rohingya women and bizarrely asked why no one was talking about the villages that hadn’t been burned,” he said. “Aung San Sun Kyi is the de facto leader of Myanmar, though her power is constrained by a still-influential military. Yet she has not simply remained silent on abuse of the Rohingya. She has become an apologist for the military that led the campaign of violence against the Rohingya. She is defending the indefensible.”

Nonetheless, many inside Burma also told Fox News that it would be “dangerous” for Suu Kyi to speak out against the military rule.

Yet her decision to act as a front for them over three days of public hearings this week has analysts questioning whether it is merely an election tactic for her party’s own 2020 campaign.

A motorcade with Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ahead of hearings in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019.  REUTERS/Eva Plevier © Thomson Reuters A motorcade with Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrives at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ahead of hearings in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

Indeed, it has bolstered her popularity on the home front, where fans have organized rallies in her honor and billboards of her face with a signature flower woven through her long hair have peppered populated areas.

Yet experts in the human rights arena have also pointed out that while bringing the case to the attention of the ICC Hs benefits, regardless of the outcome, it is unlikely to deliver the justice that the Rohingya people seek.

“This is why actors like the U.S. need to issue a genocide determination – to grant greater credence to the UN reports that provide evidence that these war crimes were committed by the Burmese military,” one expert, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the subject, noted.

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves in a car past the protesters after attending a hearing in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019.  REUTERS/Yves Herman © Thomson Reuters Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves in a car past the protesters after attending a hearing in a case filed by Gambia against Myanmar alleging genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya population, at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

An initial guilty ruling could potentially lead to sanctions, but further action in the International Criminal Court would likely be years away. Suu Kyi is expected to address the ICJ on Wednesday.

“The prosecutors will argue that genocide has taken place and that a high risk of genocide remains today. An ultimate judgment as to whether Myanmar committed genocide could take years, but ‘provisional measures’ could come in a matter of weeks,” Sullivan said. “These are effectively restraining orders that would call on Myanmar to halt abuses and refrain from destroying evidence. While the court has no mechanism to enforce these, the fact they are coming from the highest legal entity at the UN will compel countries to take a stronger stance against Myanmar.”

Moreover, activists have also underscored that the Rohingya are not the only minority being heavily persecuted in the tiny Southeast Asian country.

Supporters holding portraits of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi march on a street toward City Hall Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Yangon, Myanmar. The International Court of Justice in The Hague on Tuesday began a hearing into allegations of genocide in Myanmar over the military campaign against the Rohingya minority, with Suu Kyi set to defend those who once held her under house arrest. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Supporters holding portraits of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi march on a street toward City Hall Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Yangon, Myanmar. The International Court of Justice in The Hague on Tuesday began a hearing into allegations of genocide in Myanmar over the military campaign against the Rohingya minority, with Suu Kyi set to defend those who once held her under house arrest. (AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

While the most visible victims have been the Rohingya Muslims, the Kachin and Karen people, as well as Christians across the Buddhist-dominant nation, are among those who have been displaced, their villages burned to the ground, with innocent civilians butchered by members of the Burmese military.

“It is such a disappointment because Suu Kyi was once the face of international human rights and the winner of a Nobel peace prize,” Sullivan added. “She should be defending the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities, not the military that continues to persecute them.”

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