Two Myanmar Military troopers now in ICC custody in The Hague
(BANGKOK, September 8, 2020)—The Worldwide Legal Court docket (ICC) ought to swiftly prosecute two Myanmar Military troopers who confessed to their involvement in massacres, rape, and different crimes towards Rohingya in Myanmar, and the courtroom ought to facilitate witness safety for them, mentioned Fortify Rights at the moment. Fortify Rights has cause to imagine Myanmar Military Personal Myo Win Tun, 33, and Personal Zaw Naing Tun, 30, are within the custody of the ICC and in The Hague.
In mid-August, the 2 males appeared on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, requesting safety from Bangladesh authorities. As a state get together to the Rome Statute, Dhaka notified the ICC of the presence of the 2 former troopers. In keeping with the authorized counsel for the Authorities of Bangladesh, the boys are not in Bangladesh.
Fortify Rights obtained and analyzed two movies displaying the confessions of Personal Myo Win Tun of Myanmar Military Mild Infantry Battalion (LIB) 565 and Personal Zaw Naing Tun of LIB 353. LIBs 565 and 353 had been operational in Rakhine State throughout military-led “clearance operations” towards Rohingya civilians in 2016 and 2017.
Within the unpublished confessions, Myo Win Tun describes his involvement in killing Rohingya girls, males, and kids, and he admits to rape in Taung Bazar village and surrounding villages in Buthidaung Township in September 2017. Zaw Naing Tun confesses to his involvement in killings, burying our bodies in mass graves, and different crimes towards Rohingya in 5 villages in Maungdaw Township throughout the Myanmar Military’s 2017 “clearance operations.”
The troopers present the names and ranks of 19 direct perpetrators from the Myanmar Military, together with themselves, in addition to six senior commanders within the Myanmar Military whom they declare ordered or contributed to atrocity crimes towards Rohingya, together with a lieutenant colonel, a colonel, and three captains.
Each males individually claimed to be performing on orders from senior commanders to “exterminate all [Rohingya],” to “shoot all that you simply see and that you simply hear,” and to “kill all” Rohingya in particular areas. Considerably, each males had been operational in two separate townships, concurrently following orders underneath completely different commanders, which can point out operational consistency between battalions, coordination, and intent to commit genocide.
Myo Win Tun, 33, is an ethnic Shanni initially from Mohnyin Township in Myanmar’s Kachin State. He was a personal within the Myanmar Military from April 2016 till he abandoned his ranks in Rakhine State in Could 2020. Zaw Naing Tun, 30, is an ethnic Rakhine initially from Ramree Township, Rakhine State. He was forcibly conscripted into the Myanmar Military in March 2016 and served as a personal till he abandoned his ranks in Rakhine State in June 2020.
The Arakan Military—an ethnic armed group at the moment engaged in armed battle with the Myanmar Military in Rakhine State—filmed Myo Win Tun’s confession on July 23, 2020 and filmed Zaw Naing Tun’s confession on July 8, 2020.
The filmed confessions look like credible, mentioned Fortify Rights. The knowledge described within the confessions is in step with human rights documentation of the 2016 and 2017 Myanmar Military-led “clearance operations” towards Rohingya in northern Rakhine State. As an illustration, Zaw Naing Tun and Myo Win Tun establish six LIBs as answerable for crimes towards Rohingya— LIBs 345, 353, 551, 552, 564, and 565. Fortify Rights in addition to the Impartial Worldwide Reality-Discovering Mission on Myanmar beforehand recognized these six LIBs, and others, as concerned in genocide and crimes towards humanity towards Rohingya in 2017.
Myo Win Tun confesses to his involvement in destroying Rohingya villages within the neighborhood of Taung Bazar in Buthidaung Township in September 2017. He additionally admits to rape, his involvement within the killings of 30 males, girls, and kids in Taung Bazar, and the extra killings of 60 to 70 civilians in “village after village” within the neighborhood of Taung Bazar. Zaw Naing Tun equally confesses that he and his battalion “worn out” 20 Rohingya villages in Maungdaw Township in September 2017 and that he participated within the killing of an estimated 80 civilians, “together with kids, adults, girls, and even aged individuals” by way of coordinated massacres.
Based mostly on these confessions alone, these two males could also be instantly answerable for killing as much as 180 Rohingya civilians.
“The Second Chief Commander of the MOC-15, Colonel Than Htike, ordered us ‘to exterminate all kalar and their race will probably be exterminated,’” mentioned Myo Win Tun in his confession. “The Muslim males had been shot on their foreheads and kicked into the grave.” “Kalar” is a derogatory time period utilized in Myanmar in reference to Rohingya.
Each troopers describe the places of mass graves. Myo Win Tun describes a mass grave of 30 our bodies positioned on “Tower Tai Avenue,” which is reportedly positioned close to the headquarters of LIB 552 and roughly six miles north of Maung Nu village—the location of a well-documented bloodbath.
The lads establish six Rohingya villages through which they dedicated crimes towards Rohingya civilians in 2017: Kyet Yoe Pyin, Ngan Chaung, U Shin Kya, Doe Tan, and Zin Paing Nyar villages in Maungdaw Township, and Taung Bazar village in Buthidaung Township. The U.N. and human rights teams, together with Fortify Rights, beforehand recognized these and different areas affected by the military-led “clearance operations” in 2016 and 2017. The lads additionally confirmed their involvement in “clearance operations” in different unnamed villages.
“These confessions show what we’ve lengthy identified, which is that the Myanmar Military is a well-functioning nationwide military working with a particular and centralized command construction,” mentioned Matthew Smith. “Commanders management, direct, and order their subordinates in all they do. On this case, commanders ordered foot troopers to commit genocidal acts and exterminate Rohingya, and that’s precisely what they did.”
Below Article 28 of the Rome Statute, commanders of state safety forces exercising management over these answerable for crimes towards humanity and/or genocide—whether or not as bodily perpetrators or another type of legal responsibility—are answerable for worldwide crimes in the event that they knew or ought to have identified concerning the crimes and did not take all needed and cheap measures to forestall or repress them. Article 25 establishes legal legal responsibility for various types of involvement in committing the crime, together with as a direct, oblique, or co-perpetrator, or as perpetrators answerable for ordering, contributing to, or inciting legal motion.
Different particulars within the filmed confessions are in step with beforehand documented eyewitness testimonial proof, together with how Myanmar Military troopers attacked Rohingya villages throughout early morning hours and subsequently occupied affected villages for days or perhaps weeks, in addition to how the Myanmar Police Pressure labored in live performance with the Myanmar Military.
In 2018, Fortify Rights revealed proof that Myanmar Military troopers raped Rohingya girls, killed Rohingya males, girls, and kids, buried our bodies in mass graves, and systematically destroyed properties, villages, and meals shares in northern Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017. Fortify Rights documented atrocity crimes by Myanmar Military troopers in locations talked about by Zaw Naing Tun and Myo Win Tun.
“Rahana,” 30, fled her dwelling in Kyet Yoe Pyin, also referred to as Kiari Farang—a village through which Personal Zaw Naing Tun was operational—with two kids on August 26, 2017. She arrived in Bangladesh on August 30, 2017, and on that day she informed Fortify Rights:
The army got here to the village, they usually had been beheading, chopping, and chopping individuals. My husband and father had been killed. . . . It was very noisy from gunfire. We might see the army capturing into the village, and we might see lifeless our bodies. There have been girls, males, kids. Once we had been leaving, we noticed some flesh, minimize into items, and we noticed some lifeless our bodies had been mendacity round, scattered elsewhere. It was within the subject. There have been round 20 lifeless our bodies, scattered.
Fortify Rights documented how Myanmar Military troopers threw toddler kids into fires in Kyet Yoe Pyin village. “Wai Ni,” a 35-year-old Rohingya mom of eight from Kyet Yoe Pyin, informed Fortify Rights how Myanmar Military troopers grabbed her two-year-old daughter from the arms of her 14-year-old daughter and threw her into a fireplace. She mentioned: “We had been standing close by, however we weren’t allowed [to] seize the physique out of the hearth. We had been screaming, hoping the army wouldn’t hurt others. We might save [my older daughter] however not [the younger one].”
A number of Rohingya survivors described to Fortify Rights the existence of mass graves in Kyet Yoe Pyin village.
The Impartial Worldwide Reality-Discovering Mission on Myanmar equally documented killings of infants and kids in Kyet Yoe Pyin village in addition to “a very brutal degree of sexual violence” within the village, the place “[w]omen and women had been subjected to mass gang rape, pressured nudity, sexual humiliation and sexual assault.”
In his confession, Zaw Naing Tun says he served as a sentry guard for superior officers once they raped Rohingya girls in Kyet Yoe Pyin. He says: “I witnessed Sergeant Pyae Phyoe Aung and Corporal Shwe Htwe rape three kalar–ma [Rohingya women] once we carried out the clearance operations in Kyet Yoe Pyin village.”
On September 6, 2018, the ICC granted the Chief Prosecutor jurisdiction to research and probably prosecute the crime towards humanity of pressured deportation of Rohingya to Bangladesh, in addition to persecution and different inhumane acts.
The U.N. Safety Council ought to instantly refer the state of affairs in Myanmar to the ICC, enabling the courtroom to research and prosecute all the crimes perpetrated towards Rohingya, together with the crime of genocide, mentioned Fortify Rights.
Given their confessions and obvious switch to The Hague, it’s cheap to imagine Myo Win Tun and Zaw Naing Tun might plead responsible to the crimes to which they confessed in alternate for changing into “insider witnesses” for future trials. Such a improvement would considerably advance efforts to carry perpetrators accountable for atrocity crimes towards Rohingya, mentioned Fortify Rights.
The ICC has a witness safety program for numerous sorts of witnesses, together with “insider witnesses.” Below Article 68(1) of the Rome Statute, the ICC is obligated to “take acceptable measures to guard the security, bodily and psychological well-being, dignity and privateness” of witnesses, and underneath Article 43(6), a victims and witnesses part on the ICC is answerable for “protecting measures and safety preparations” for at-risk witnesses.