Press Releases

International Lawyers Call for Criminal Accountability for Myanmar Regime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—September 27, 2007

[MAE SOD, THAILAND] The Burma Lawyers’ Council and the Global Justice Center urge the United Nations Security Council to take all actions necessary to stop the murders of innocent people in Burma and hold the military junta commanders criminally accountable. This includes authorizing peacekeeping forces and creating an independent commission of inquiry to investigate on-going crimes. Violence is a tool of the military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), to retain control over the people of Burma who are prisoners, not citizens. The latest massacre in Burma must be the last, no more impunity for criminal actions such as the massacre of student protestors in 1988 and of supporters of pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Sui Kyi in 2003 in Depayin. It is the obligation of the international community to stop the junta from using murder, torture, and rape as tools to maintain power. The Security Council has an obligation to act under its Chapter VII mandate to maintain international peace and security as well as UNSCR 1674 on the Responsibility to Protect, UNSCR1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and the Genocide Convention.

Crimes perpetrated by the Burmese military leaders should not be buried under the rubric of human rights violations, but called what they are: war crimes, crimes against humanity and potentially even genocide. The perpetrators listed below should be held criminally accountable by the international community.

Commanders who are responsible under international criminal law for ordering the recent heinous crimes against peaceful protestors in Burma include:

  • Than Shwe, Chairman, State Peace and Development Council and Commander in-Chief, Tatmadaw
  • General Kyaw San, Minister of Information
  • Colonel Tint San (Infantry No. 16)
  • Major Ye Zaw Zaw (Infantry No. 16)

 For further information contact:

Janet Benshoof, President, Global Justice Center, 212-725-6530 x202 

U Aung Htoo, General Secretary, Burma Lawyers’ Council, 66-(0) 81-533-0605

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Tags: Constitutions, Individual Criminal Accountability, War Crimes/Crimes Against Humanity