Burma Campaign UK’s Campaigns Officer, Karin Valtersson, joined the demonstration by the Kachin community in the UK, calling on the British government to support the UN Security Council’s referral of Burma/Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
A special edition of Dispatches with exclusive access to Rohingya activists’ secret recordings, which provide evidence of years of repression, violence and mass murder by the Myanmar authorities, was broadcast today on Channel 4.
The Justice for Rohingya Minority (JFRM) was launched at a ceremony at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London on Wednesday.
Mark Farmaner, member of JFRM and director of Burma Campaign UK, argued that the international response to the Rohingya crisis has been muted.
Referring to recent army attacks on civilians in Kachin State, Mark Farmaner said “Nine months on from the start of this crisis, Min Aung Hlaing has paid no price for what he’s done. He is emboldened, he has got away with it, and he’s now targeting other ethnic groups much more aggressively. It’s vital to end his sense of impunity.”
The Lords Grand Committee today held a short debate on recent developments in Myanmar.
Burma Campaign UK’s Director Mark Farmaner spoke at today’s Kachin protest in front of the UK Foreign Office, calling on the British government to support the UN Security Council referring Burma/Myanmar to the International Criminal Court.
Kachin Women’s Association Thailand has called on the UN Security Council to act to end ongoing crimes against humanity in northern Burma, which the UNSC delegation did not visit on its recent visit to Rakhine State.
KWAT urges the UN Security Council:
- To refer the situation in Burma to the International Criminal Court
- To impose a global arms embargo on Burma
- To place targeted sanctions on military officers responsible for crimes against humanity or other serious human rights violations.
The European Union has defended a 30 million euro project to train the Myanmar Police, after a police witness in a case against two local journalists told a court this month that a senior police commander had ordered their entrapment.
Burma Campaign UK director Mark Farmaner told VOA, “It’s hard to see how the EU can continue to justify this training program when we see these cases where the highest levels of the police force are involved in framing journalists.”
“The case of the Reuters journalists just exposes how much the military control the police,” he said. “There’s no way you can reform the police force if the people in charge of that force aren’t interested in respecting human rights.”
“Writing to MPs, or going to meet your MPs, really does make a difference”, Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK, told the National Student. Asked how students can pressure the government to change its policies and help alleviate the suffering in Burma, Mark said “We have had MPs standing up in Parliament really putting a boot into the minister, based on the fact that they have had constituents meeting them and writing to them.”
Leeds United Football Club’s announcement that it will be bringing the squad to Burma next month was met with widespread condemnation, reports the Democratic Voice of Burma.
Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, told DVB “There has been no call for a cultural or sports boycott of Burma, but clearly Leeds United haven’t clearly thought through how a visit to Burma at this time would be perceived.”
He added that Burma Campaign UK’s main concern was that the tour is sponsored by AYA Bank, a lender owned by Burmese tycoon Zaw Zaw, who “appears to be involved in the government’s so-called development programme in Rakhine State where the villages of Rohingya forced to flee ethnic cleansing are now being built over.”
The Burmese government has denied that yesterday’s release of political prisoners included seven members of the military who were jailed for 10 years for massacring 10 Rohingya in the village of Inn Din in September 2017. They remain in jail, together with around 90 political prisoners.
The New York Times article quotes Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK: “With the use and scope of repressive laws being increased rather than repealed, it seems that under the NLD government, there is no end in sight to the scourge of political prisoners in Burma’s jails.”