The world’s eyes are on The Hague and Aung San Suu Kyi as Myanmar goes on trial for genocide, MEP Baroness Mobarik said on Tuesday.
“Campaigners for justice and civil rights have been longing for this day for many months and will be watching every detail as the trial unfolds,” she said.
Lady Mobarik, Conservative MEP for Scotland and chairman of the European Parliament’s South Asia Delegation, spoke out as Myanmar’s de facto leader arrived at the UN International Court of Justice to defend her country’s record.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate will hear allegations that Myanmar committed atrocities against Muslim Rohingya.
Thousands of Rohingya were killed and more than 700,000 fled to neighbouring Bangladesh during an army crackdown in the Buddhist-majority country in 2017. Prosecutors will say the military employed mass murder, gang rape and the torching of villages to crush the Rohingya and drive them from the country.
Lady Mobarik, who has herself visited the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, said: “This a preliminary hearing and will decide whether emergency provisional measures are put in place to protect Rohingya in Myanmar from further persecution.
“That will be a vital first step and one we have long called for. Ultimately the case could take years to go through the court, but after events such as we have seen in Myanmar those responsible must ultimately face justice.
“I believe the UN also needs to take measures to allow the thousands of Rohingya driven out of Mymanar to return in safety and rebuild their lives as full citizens.”