Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh (Reuters) – Human rights campaigners supporting Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority on Monday called for a global boycott of the country, a day before genocide hearings begin at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Myanmar leader and Nobel Peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday, will defend her country’s record during three days of hearings initiated after a lawsuit was filed by Gambia in November.
On Monday the Netherlands and Canada put out a joint statement in support of Gambia, the tiny, mainly Muslim West African country that filed the suit in which the Buddhist-majority Myanmar is accused of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority.
“Canada and the Netherlands consider it their obligation to support The Gambia before the International Court of Justice, as it concerns all of humanity,” the two countries said.
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar in 2017 after a military-led crackdown. The United Nations has said the campaign was executed with “genocidal intent” and included mass killings and rape.
Myanmar authorities have strongly disputed that conclusion, categorizing the military operation as a legitimate counterterrorism response to attacks by Rohingya militants.
During three days of hearings, Gambia’s legal team will ask the 17-member panel of U.N judges at the ICJ to impose “provisional measures” to protect the Rohingya before the case can be heard in full.
Suu Kyi’s office said last month that she would lead her country’s team in The Hague to “defend the national interest”.
Several demonstrations are planned in coming days in The Hague by Rohingya survivor groups, as well as by government supporters.