Myanmar military accused of war crimes, genocide in German suit

Survivors of military abuses in Myanmar have lodged a criminal complaint in Germany, asking prosecutors to investigate and bring to trial those responsible for committing

atrocities during crackdowns on opponents of the February 2021 coup, and against the Rohingya minority. Fortify Rights, an advocacy group, announced the filing of the

complaint on Tuesday. The group said the case, which involves 16 individuals from Myanmar, was filed with the German Office of the Federal Prosecutor last week.

Matthew Smith, CEO and co-founder of Fortify Rights, said the complaint was filed in Germany because of its universal jurisdiction laws, which allows for the prosecution of

crimes no matter where they take place. “Germany is in a unique position to help thwart impunity in Myanmar,” Smith told a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand. “The

complaint provides new evidence proving that the Myanmar military systematically killed, raped, tortured, imprisoned, disappeared, persecuted and committed other acts that amount

to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in violation of German law,” he said. “Members of the military junta should not feel safe from justice in this world,

and they must be held accountable.” There was no immediate comment from Myanmar’s military. The complaint comes days before the second anniversary of Senior General

Min Aung Hlaing seizing power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. The power grab has plunged Myanmar – which was facing accusations of genocide

over the 2017 campaign against the Rohingya – into conflict.