Call for UN inquiry into Burma's crimes against humanity

By agency reporter
September 22, 2010

A human rights NGO says international support is growing for the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity in Burma.

In recent days, France, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand have added their support, and a total of ten governments are now calling for an inquiry.

The United States, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia and Hungary have already expressed their support.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide welcomed the development. The NGO has been campaigning for the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry for several years, alongside other international human rights organisations.

In March 2010, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, concluded that human rights violations in Burma may amount to crimes against humanity, and recommended the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry.

CSW wrote to European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers last month, calling on the EU to work to secure a recommendation for a Commission of Inquiry in the forthcoming UN General Assembly resolution on Burma next month.

Benedict Rogers CSW’s East Asia Team Leader and author of Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma’s Tyrant, commented: “Momentum is undoubtedly building and governments around the world are increasingly recognising that the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by Burma’s military regime, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, can no longer be disregarded with impunity."

He continued: "We urge other governments and the EU to join the ten countries in building an international coalition to establish a UN Commission of Inquiry.

"A full international legal investigation into the regime’s widespread and systematic use of rape as a weapon of war, forcible conscription of child soldiers, use of forced labour, torture, destruction of villages and killings is much needed and long overdue. The crisis in eastern Burma is Asia’s Darfur and cannot be ignored any longer.”


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