December 9, 2009

MPs from the main opposition parties today called on the UK government to support a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity being committed by the regime in Burma.

The MPs were discussing the political situation in Burma during today’s Westminster Hall debate in parliament. The issue of crimes against humanity dominated the debate, with most of the MPs who spoke during the debate putting pressure on the government to support a Commission of Inquiry.

“There is overwhelming evidence that the regime in Burma is committing crimes against humanity. There is now also increasing political support for a UN Commission of Inquiry. The British government is looking increasingly politically isolated on this issue,” said Anna Roberts, Executive Director of Burma Campaign UK.

In May this year, Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic released a report about crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma. The report was commissioned by five of the world’s leading jurists and analyzed UN documents on human rights violations in Burma. The report found that human rights abuses in Burma are widespread, systematic, and part of state policy and suggests Burma’s military regime may be committing crimes against humanity and war crimes prosecutable under international law.

MPs also discussed the regime’s fake elections due in 2010. Government Minister Ivan Lewis said the elections would have no legitimacy unless the regime took steps such as amending the constitution and releasing all political prisoners.

MPs also called on the government to ensure EU sanctions are maintained and to increase sanctions if the regime makes no progress towards democracy.

For more information contact Anna Roberts on 020 7324 4710


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