Twelve MPs, led by Labour MP Ms Valerie Vaz, have called on the British government to support an international investigation into sexual violence in Myanmar and to fund women’s organisations which help survivors and document abuses, according to the report of an Early Day Motion tabled in the UK parliament on December 2.
Burma Campaign UK was today joined by Baroness Kinnock, Baroness Nye, and supporters to deliver more than 2,000 rose-tinted glasses, photo petitions and campaign postcards to the British Foreign Office as part of our campaign to persuade the British government to stop looking at Burma through rose-tinted glasses, and return to putting human rights as their top priority in Burma.
Dr Tun Aung, a 65-year- old political prisoner, was released yesterday. Thank you for those who took action to free Dr. Tun Aung.
He was arrested and jailed unlawfully by the military-backed government in Burma. He is a chairman of the Islamic Religious Affairs Council in Burm and was arrested and accused of fuelling the communal riots in his hometown, Maungdaw, Rakhine State. He was arrested in June 2012 and charged under six different counts, including the Myanmar Wireless Telegraphs Act and Section 24 (1) of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison but under a presidential amnesty, his sentence was reduced to one year in prison.
Burma Campaign UK is quoted in this news article about his release in Mizzima News:
“He [Dr Tun Aung] was arrested in June 2012 as part of the Burmese government’s efforts to arrest and detain Muslim community leaders to stop them from talking to international observers and journalists,” Burma Campaign UK said in May 2013.
Article in Foreign Policy quotes Burma Campaign UK:
Will the Burmese army ever face justice for its past war crimes?
“Those who committed crimes against my people are not only free but still in government,” said Zoya Phan.
She’s an ethnic Karen activist with Burma Campaign UK (BCUK), who fled her home in Manerplaw, eastern Burma, when it was invaded by the Burmese army in 1994. She was 14.
Burma Campaign UK is quoted in Karen News:
“The human rights advocacy group, Burma Campaign UK, has called on David Cameron’s government to support a UN Commission of Inquiry into violations of international law in Burma, amid concerns that the country’s reform process under President U Thein Sein has stalled.
“Anna Roberts , Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK, said that the report showed that Burma’s government was running out of time to convince the international community of its reformist agenda.”
Article in Mizzima:
UK MPs have called on the British government to reassess their relations with Myanmar, concerned about continued fighting in the ethnic states, the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, and the effective block on constitutional change.
“This Motion reflects how the mood of Parliament has changed,” Mr Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, told Mizzima on December 4. “There is now a much greater understanding that serious human rights abuses are continuing, and that the reform process is deeply flawed. The British government is also facing growing pressure from MPs over its policy of supporting President Thein Sein.”
Burma Campaign UK is quoted in the Irrawaddy:
“Anna Roberts, the executive director of Burma Campaign UK said, “the Foreign Affairs Committee has taken a much stronger stance on human rights in Burma than the British government. There is a growing recognition of the many problems with Burma’s reform process and of the huge scale of ongoing human rights abuses.”
Article by Zoya Phan of Burma Campaign UK.
“Despite some limited reforms taking place in Burma in the past four years, women in Burma continue to suffer and we continue to require international support. As a country with a strong commitment to ending sexual violence in conflict, Britain should take the lead in building global support for an international investigation into rape and sexual violence committed by the Burmese military.”
Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK, is quoted in DVB:
“The London-based NGO’s Campaigns Manager, Zoya Phan, thinks that Britain should take the lead in such an investigation. The group’s press statement quoted her as saying, “As a country with a strong commitment to ending sexual violence in conflict, Britain should take the lead in building global support for an international investigation into rape and sexual violence committed by the Burmese military.”
Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Burma Campaign UK delivers 2,000 campaign postcards to the British Foreign Office calling on Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to support the establishment of an international investigation into rape and sexual violence committed by the Burmese Army. The postcards were signed by supporters of Burma Campaign UK.