Global Justice Center Blog

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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International Lawyers Denounce Attempt by Myanmar Regime to Give Themselves Immunity from Criminal Prosecutions and Renew Call for Criminal Investigation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—April 14, 2008

[MAE SOD, THAILAND] The Myanmar regime, guilty of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, has revealed that it is seeking to give itself constitutional immunity from prosecution for those crimes. The Burma Lawyers’ Council, the Global Justice Center and the Burma Justice Committee denounce this attempt by the regime to avoid accountability. The recently distributed final version of the Constitution being put to a “referendum” on May 10th, 2008 now includes in Chapter XIV “Transitory Provisions,” Article No. 445, stating, “No legal action shall be taken against those (either individuals or groups who are members of SLORC and SPDC) who officially carried out their duties according to their responsibilities.” This immunity is invalid under international law and cannot be accepted by the international community.

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