November 15, 2007

The Burma Justice Committee will be launched today in the House of Lords. The Committee has been formed against the backdrop of continuing human rights abuses within Burma, as the military junta continues to repress anyone who questions their regime.  Following the recent uprisings in protest at the doubling of fuel prices, many have been killed, imprisoned, and beaten by representatives of the junta.

The Burma Justice Committee will work for the restoration of the rule of law within Burma, and will fight against the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens.  Comprised of lawyers, parliamentarians and other representatives, the Committee has today presented petitions to the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, on behalf of [three] Burmese currently detained by the Junta.

Chairman of the Bar-elect, Tim Dutton QC, said:

“Legal help is vital to those who are being made to suffer at the hands of the military forces and their henchmen in Burma. There has been a spontaneous response from lawyers from around the world to the initiative which has led to the creation of the Burma Justice Committee.  The Committee will be able to draw on a wide range of legal expertise with experienced barristers and other lawyers in a range of disciplines to assist victims and their families, who have been imprisoned, tortured, and denied their rights.  The Committee will examine all available steps which can be taken by way of legal redress against the perpetrators”

Lord Alton of Liverpool said:

“At this crucial moment in Burma’s history it is more important than ever that the ruling military junta realise that the free world cares passionately about how dissident voices are treated. The role which international lawyers can offer in promoting justice, free speech and democracy is highly important, and I am delighted to be able to host the meeting which gives voice to those concerned”.

Notes to Editors

Further information from the Bar Council Press Office at 020 7222 2525.

The press launch will be held on Thursday 15 November 2007 at 12.30 pm in Committee Room 4 of the House of Lords.

Those attending the press launch include:

Tim Dutton QC, Fountain Court and Chairman of the Bar-elect
Sappho Dias, 5 King’s Bench Walk, and Chair, Burma Justice Committee
Adam Zellick, Fountain Court, and Vice-Chair, Burma Justice Committee
Bo Kyi, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Burma
Lord Alton of Liverpool
John Bercow MP, Co-Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Burma
Jared Genser, Freedom Now, Counsel to Aung San Suu Kyi, and Member, Burma Justice Committee
Mark Farmaner, Burma Campaign UK


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