When Myanmar’s state counselor arrived at the Hague to defend her country at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), several rights groups launched a global boycott initiative urging corporations, foreign investors, professional and cultural organizations to sever their institutional ties with Myanmar.
Thirty Human rights, academic and professional organizations from 10 countries jointly launched the “Boycott Myanmar Campaign” from London, in hopes to “bring to bear economic, cultural, diplomatic and political pressure on Myanmar’s coalition government of [state counselor] Aung San Suu Kyi and the military”, the campaigners said in a statement.
Myanmar faces a lawsuit at the ICJ filed by West African country Gambia, with the support of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, for atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in the country over the past few years.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, said in a statement last month that she, as foreign minister, is to attend the first hearing of the lawsuit on Dec. 10, to defend “the interests of the country”.
The latest massive military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar in 2017 forced more than 750,000 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, to flee the country and cross into Bangladesh.
Since Aug. 25, 2017, nearly 24,000 Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Myanmar’s state forces, according to a report by the Ontario International Development Agency (OIDA).
More than 34,000 Rohingya were also thrown into fires, while over 114,000 others were beaten, said the OIDA report, titled “Forced Migration of Rohingya: The Untold Experience.”
Some 18,000 Rohingya women and girls were raped by Myanmar’s army and police and over 115,000 Rohingya homes were burned down and 113,000 others vandalized, it added.
Suu Kyi is widely criticized for her silence against the mass killings and war against humanity as she now attempts to defend against alleged military atrocities — which the UN human rights chief described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” — at the international court.