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Media Release From European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma

The European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma (EPCB), representing MPs from 15 European countries, is calling on EU member states to officially support the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry on Burma.

The call from European MPs comes just days after the USA became the fifth country to publicly support a UN Inquiry. The EU is currently drafting the next UN General Assembly resolution on Burma, which should include the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry.

The military regime in Burma is responsible for planned, widespread and systematic violations of human rights and freedoms in the county. The abuses include rape and sexual violence, the deportation and forcible transfer of civilians, the recruitment of child soldiers, the persecution of ethnic minorities, the use of torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The EPCB believes that a UN Commission of Inquiry that would allow a thorough investigation and documentation of these crimes, along with the formation of recommendations on future actions and policies, is a crucial step that the international community should support.

In March 2010 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, Tomás Ojea Quintana, included in his report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, the recommendation of the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry, outlining the “gross and systematic” nature of the abuses taking place in Burma.

In June 2010 a new report – Crimes against Humanity in Western Burma: The Situation of the Rohingyas – was published by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, also recommending that the United Nations Security Council establish a Commission of Inquiry into the crimes exposed in the report.

“The ongoing atrocities in the country demonstrate the need and urgency for stronger action by the international community. Individual states and EU must take action and officially support a UN Commission of Inquiry which would be a crucial and effective preliminary step towards putting an end to the constant perpetration of grave abuses and crimes in Burma.” Silver Meikar, executive member of EPCB, says.

For more information contact the Caucus administrators: Zoya Phan on +4420 7324 4712, or Kristina Prunerova on +420 777 787 917.

 


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