Today, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court") concluded its first visit to the People's Republic of Bangladesh in the context of the on-going preliminary examination
concerning the alleged deportation of the Rohingya people from Myanmar
to Bangladesh. The purpose of this visit was to engage with relevant
stakeholders, explain the preliminary examination process, and travel to
the refugee camps with a view to informing the Office's ongoing
On behalf of the
Prosecutor, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, the delegation would like to express its
gratitude to the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh for
providing its support to this visit and facilitating meetings with the
relevant national authorities. During this past week, the delegation had
constructive exchanges with senior officials from the Ministries of
Foreign Affairs; Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; and Home
Affairs; as well as various law enforcement agencies.
delegation also had the opportunity to exchange views with
representatives of various agencies of the United Nations and members of
the diplomatic community, as well as academics from the University of
Dhaka's Centre for Genocide Studies.
Cox's Bazar, the delegation visited the refugee camps and met with
government authorities, humanitarian agencies and NGOs, as well as a
number of victims' representatives. The delegation listened carefully to
their views and concerns.
The insights gained from the visit will continue to inform the Office's ongoing assessment of the situation.
independent and impartial preliminary examination of the situation in
Bangladesh/Myanmar is on-going and will follow its course. A preliminary
examination is not an investigation, but an assessment of the Rome
Statute criteria to decide whether an investigation into the situation
at hand is warranted. Therefore, during this mission, as is standard
practice of the Office, the delegation did not collect evidence or
perform any other investigative activities.
field visit enabled the Office, however, to hold productive meetings in
Bangladesh, and to fully appreciate the sheer magnitude and severity of
this human tragedy.
The Office is
committed to making continued progress on the preliminary examination
process and is grateful to the authorities of Bangladesh and many other
partners for their strong support.
Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial
preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime
of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. Since
2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple
situations within the ICC's jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the
Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African
Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali; Georgia and Burundi. Pre-Trial Chamber II is seized of the Prosecutor's request for authorisation to commence an investigation into the situation in the
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Office is also conducting
preliminary examinations relating to the situations in
Bangladesh/Myanmar; Colombia; Guinea; Iraq/UK; Palestine; the
Philippines; Nigeria; Ukraine, and Venezuela.