Four hundred Rohingya women and girls have used their thumbprints to sign a legal submission to the International Criminal Court.

The document calls on the ICC to investigate recent crimes and atrocities committed against Rohingya.

Human rights lawyers and prosecutors are using an unconventional technicality of human rights law which states that human rights abuses are still being committed against Rohingya in Bangladesh, by virtue of having been expelled from their homes.  Bangladesh is an active member of the ICC and thus provides jurisdiction for the court to act.

The submission says,

‘Deportation is an inherently transnational crime, which cannot be completed in one State alone. This is well established in international criminal law.  It belongs to a category of offenses that represent the law’s response to trans-border criminality, recognising a need to prohibit it in a manner that reflects as closely as possible the particular interests infringed.’

The pursuants, Shanti Mohila (for Peace Women) believe that if the ICC take up the case, and recognise Myanmar’s crimes continue in Bangladesh, the result could mean new territory for international law.

Requests to hold Myanmar accountable for violence are abundant for the court these days, but this technicality of jurisdiction could open the door to prosecution of countries whose crimes displaced their people into ICC member countries.  


Submissions on Behalf of the Victims, Pursuant to Article 19(3) of the Statute; ICC;

400 Thumbprints: Behind the Push to Prosecute Myanmar for Atrocities; New York Times;

Rohingya persecution: Lawyers request ICC probe; The Daily Star;