Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ), BRAC University, and Student Life, BRAC University jointly organized a “Public Lecture on Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar” (IIMM) at the university’s Mohakhali campus auditorium on 9th May, 2022.
Mr. Nicholas Koumjian, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the IIMM, delivered the lecture. Dr. David Dowland, Registrar, BRAC University, Tahsina Rahman, Joint Director, Student Life, BRAC University, and students of different departments attended the event. The team from IIMM also met Professor Vincent Chang, Vice-Chancellor, Brac University before the lecture.
Mr. Shahariar Sadat, Director for Academic and Legal Empowerment, Centre for Peace and Justice moderated the lecture.
Delivering the welcome address, Dr. David Dowland, Registrar, BRAC University, said BRAC University is committed to supporting Rohingya refugees and others who have been displaced.
Mr. Koumjian explained that the IIMM was established by the UN Human Rights Council in September 2018 with the mandate to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011. Serious international crimes include war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The Human Rights Council was responding to reports, including those by the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (FFM) that reasonable grounds existed to conclude that gross human rights violations amounting to serious international crimes had been committed in Myanmar, including Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states, he said.
The IIMM is further mandated to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes. Such courts help bring history and awareness to relevant stakeholders, including survivors, civil society and the public, on what really happened, he added.
At the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Gambia initiated a case against Myanmar in 2019, alleging that the Myanmar security forces committed genocidal acts against the Rohingya in violation of the Genocide Convention. This ICJ case is a litigation between States regarding the responsibility of a State, rather than the prosecution of individual perpetrators. The IIMM has been sharing materials relevant to this case with both The Gambia and Myanmar, in accordance with its mandate.
Since 2019, there has also been an ongoing investigation at the International Criminal Court (ICC) related to the forced deportation of Rohingya from Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh. Part of the IIMM’s mandate is to cooperate with the ICC.
Mr. Koumjian also informed that the IIMM would try to help Argentina in its investigations into international crimes committed by the military and civilian leaders of Myanmar against the Rohingya.
Tahsina Rahman, Joint Director, Student Life drew the Vote of Thanks.