Global Justice Center Blog

Catastrophe in Burma a Wake Up Call to the International Community: Time to End Impunity for Heinous Crimes by the Military Regime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 22, 2008

[NEW YORK, NY] – Senior General Than Shwe’s denial of international humanitarian aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis should come as no surprise to the international community. This negligence and refusal of access is part and parcel of the criminal nature of the regime and reflects their fear that the entire world will see first hand the results of decades of systematic human rights violations, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Today, the Parliament of the European Union made an important statement in the Joint Motion for Resolution on the tragic situation in Burma and recognized that those responsible for the crimes committed in Burma should be brought before the International Criminal Court. We applaud this step forward, however, any referral to the International Criminal Court must include the on-going use of torture, gang rape of ethnic women, forced labour, murder, mass imprisonment, and abduction of children to fill military quotas.

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Women@Google: Janet Benshoof

Janet Benshoof, President of the Global Justice Center, was invited to give a talk at Women@Google Talks. During this presentation, she explained how the geopolitical favoritism afforded war criminal Than Schwe in Burma undermines the rule of law globally. Than Schwe, who controls Burma using the largest standing army in South East Asia, has routinely flouted all U.N. efforts, and, chooses to have tens of thousands of people die preventable deaths from the effects of Cyclone Nargis rather than open up access to the people of Burma.

Janet Benshoof put the recent forced "death by disease" in the context of clearly documented and ongoing grave crimes including the destruction of villages, torture, murder of monks, systematic gang rape of ethnic women, genocide of Karen and Shan peoples, forced labor, and recruitment of child soldiers. Professor Benshoof also pointed out how by declaring a victory on the May 10th referendum, Than Schwe is trying to transform his rule into a constitutional right by inserting criminal immunity for himself and his cohorts into the constitution. The constitution attempts to legitimize permanent military rule, give blanket amnesties for all military crimes, and simply put, it is possibly the worst constitution ever drafted with regard to women in modern history.

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Scoop Independent News, “Burma Regime Denounced For Giving Selves Immunity”

Scoop Independent News publishes an article titled "Burma Regime Denounced for Giving Selves Immunity".

This article focuses on international law organizations (Burma Lawyers' Council, Global Justice Center and Burma Justice Committee) calling for a better constitution for Burma, and a criminal investigation into the crimes committed under the military regime. This constitution will not bring lasting democracy or peace.

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