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Crime Scene Investigation: Burma

March 9, 2011

In March 2010, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Burma called for a UN Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity in Burma.

The call for such an inquiry is supported by multiple countries, as well as the European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma (EPCB). However, the European Union has still not decided whether to call for a UN inquiry. Help the EU make up its minds and do the decent thing!

The Burmese junta is widely regarded as one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes in the world. The military government has allegedly  destroyed more than 3,500 villages, routinely used rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities, forcefully displayed over one million refugees and recruited tens of thousands of child soldiers.

2100 behind bars

The recent “elections” and the newly elected parliament changes little, if anything at all. High ranking Burmese military officers remain in absolute power, and more than 2100

Ko Mya Aye. Photo: Burma Campaign UK

political prisoners remain behind bars. One of them is Ko Mya Aye, one of the leaders of the 88 Generation Students. Ko Mya Aye was arrested for his role in the 2007 uprisings in Burma, and has been in prison ever since. He is reportedly suffering from angina, hypertension and gastric problems,and is held under conditions which are making his health condition even worse.

Unhappy birthday

On 10th March, Ko Mya Aye will celebrate his 44th birthday. Let’s give him a birthday present!

The UN has found Ko Mya Aye’s detention arbitrary and illegal. According to the Rome Statute, arbitrary detention is a crime against humanity. A UN inquiry into such crimes will certainly shine a light on  Ko Mya Aye and the other 2100 political prisoners in Burma. Maybe it can even give them a little hope for the future.

So far, ten EU countries support an inquiry. If four more countries give their support, that will make more than half of EU’s member states. Give Ko Mya Aye a small reason to celebrate on his birthday; send an e-mail urging Denmark, Latvia, Sweden and Luxembourg to support a UN inquiry into crimes against humanity in Burma.

This might be a small step for Ko Mya Aye, but hopefully, it might lead to a sizeable leap for the Burmese people.

UPDATE: According to Burma Campaign UK, Denmark and Latvia now support the Burma inquiry.If you haven’t taken action yet, you can still email Sweden and Luxembourg and urge them to support a Commission of Inquiry here!

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