14 August 2023 /
THE INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIVE MECHANISM FOR MYANMAR (IIMM) REPORT
“The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) revealed compelling evidence of the Country’s military and affiliate militias engaging in more frequent and audacious war crimes and crimes against humanity,” reported UN News on 13 August 2023.
The Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM), a UN Human Rights Council body was formed in 2018 and operational in August 2019 for collecting and analyzing evidence of the most serious international crimes and violations of international law committed in Myanmar since 2011 for expediting criminal proceedings as per international law.
“Over the past year, there has been a dramatic increase in violence in Myanmar. A military airstrike in Sagaing in April 2023 made global headlines but, unfortunately, this is just one of numerous attacks against the civilian population that the Mechanism is investigating. We have collected credible evidence of an array of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed across the country, including murder, rape, torture, unlawful imprisonment and deportation or forcible transfer. We are collecting this evidence while it is fresh, analysing it and preparing case files that can be shared with judicial authorities to hold perpetrators of these crimes responsible so that they will face justice.
While we gather and analyse evidence of serious international crimes committed since the military launched a coup on 1 February 2021, we remain focused on investigating earlier crimes and are sharing evidence, information and analytical reports with those working on ongoing cases concerning the Rohingya at the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and in Argentina,” says said Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the Mechanism in the bulletin issued recently.
“The Mechanism continues to receive credible evidence that numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed in Myanmar. Tragically, the frequency and intensity of these crimes have only increased in recent months. Given the enormous increase of violence in Myanmar, the Mechanism is focusing its investigations on the gravest incidents and where the impact on victims is most severe, while continuing to investigate earlier crimes, particularly those committed during the 2016 and 2017 clearance operations in Rakhine State,” he added.
Indiscriminate attacks on civilians from aerial bombing, mass executions of civilians, large-scale and intentional burning of civilian homes and buildings, resulting in the destruction of entire villages in some cases, reports UN News.
“Every loss of life in Myanmar is tragic, but the devastation caused to whole communities through aerial bombardments and village burnings is particularly shocking,” IIMM Chief Nicholas Koumjian explains about the military airstrike of April 2023 that reportedly killed more than 155 people.
“Our evidence points to a dramatic increase in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country, with widespread and systematic attacks against civilians, and we are building case files that can be used by courts to hold individual perpetrators responsible,” he said.
Military aircraft dropped bombs and fired on a crowd of people in Kanbalu Township, located in Sagaing Region, who gathered for opening a new Town Hall, as per the reports.
Military in Myanmar seized power, detaining the democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders in February 2021 and thousands of people have been killed since the coup. The UN continues to condemn strongly against the undemocratic and human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar. The Secretary General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned and appealed to end the violence against the people of Myanmar.
The information and evidence were taken from 700 sources, taking more than 200 interviews and screenings , says the Bulletin issued in June 2023.