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India: Rohingya refugees hail world court verdict


Displaced Rohingya community living in India hailed on Thursday the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict, directing Myanmar to prevent the act of genocide against them. They were all in praise for the small West African country, Gambia that took up their cause to the world’s topmost court.

“It is something the entire community has been waiting for. The order is a step forward towards ensuring justice and relief from the slow-burning genocide,” said Ali Johar, a Rohingya youth leader living at Kalindi Kunj Rohingya camp in southeast Delhi.

Johar, who also works as a translator for the UNHCR said most Rohingya see it as light at the end of a long dark tunnel. The ICJ order has rejected the defenses put up by Aung San Suu Kyi, the state counselor of Myanmar against the genocide and human rights violation accusations. He said that judgment has given hope to 40,000 Rohingya living in India.

The order has brought some respite and a smile to the immigrants living in the Kalindi Kunj camp after India’s new citizenship law had kept them on tenterhooks. Of the 60 families living in the camp, forming over 300 people including almost 180 children had arrived in India in 2012.

“We know that India is not our own country. We ask the governments of the world to come together to help us live in our own country. We will be happy to go back if conditions are made conducive. But under current conditions back in our home, we will prefer to die here rather get deported,” said an emotionally charged Shakir, a member of the Rohingya community. “We are thankful to the Gambia for raising a voice for us. Hope the situation gets better,” added Shakir.

“We still hope that ultimate justice will be served and those who committed human rights violation against us will receive punishment. As the world court orders Myanmar with four obligations we hope it will create more pressure on the rulers there to act against the perpetrators,” Johar added.

He said the most significant part of the court judgment was asking the Myanmar government to submit a report after four months and then after every six months to detail about the compliance of provisionary measures.

The Rohingya leader said since the report will be shared with the Gambia, our representatives will have the opportunity to scrutinize and submit our side of the story every time.

“These follow up will bring the real image and intentions of Myanmar brutal Genocide deniers in front of the international community,” he said.

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