January 13, 2011

Burma Campaign UK today publishes a new briefing detailing international support for a UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma.

13 countries have so far declared their support for a UN Inquiry. A UN Inquiry is also supported by 15 Nobel Laureates, The Elders, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the European Parliament.

“Since the elections last November the dictatorship has continued to break international law, with increased attacks against civilians in Karen State, and arbitrary detention of democracy activists,” said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK. “This new briefing highlights the growing support for a UN Commission of Inquiry.”

On December 24th the United Nations General Assembly passed its 20th Resolution on Burma. The Resolution highlighted possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, and issued what could be interpreted as a final warning for the dictatorship to take action to investigate these crimes, or face international action.

The new 2010 Resolution; ‘Expresses grave concern at the continuing practice of arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, rape and other forms of sexual violence, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and urges the Government of Myanmar to undertake without further delay a full, transparent, effective, impartial and independent investigation into all reports of human rights violations, and to bring to justice those responsible in order to end impunity for violations of human rights, and, regretting that previous calls to that effect have not been heeded, calls on the Government to do so as a matter of priority and, if necessary, drawing on the assistance of the United Nations.’

This is the 18th time the General Assembly has called for an investigation into human rights abuses in Burma. However, the language has been strengthened, specifically referring to the fact that previous requests for investigations have been ignored, and also calling on the Burmese government to undertake investigations ‘without further delay’ and ‘as a matter of priority’.

“We expect support to continue to grow in 2011,” said Zoya Phan. “As the dictatorship threatens to break ceasefires, sending increasing numbers of soldiers to ethnic states, the need for a UN Inquiry is even more urgent.”

Download the briefing here.

For more information contact Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager at Burma Campaign UK, on 020 7324 4710


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