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Alternative Asean Network on Burma
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PRESS RELEASES, OPEN LETTERS, STATEMENTS

For Immediate Release: 11 August 2008

AN UNFAIR SENTENCE, A DARK FUTURE FOR THE COUNTRY - FIDH/BLC/ALTSEAN-BURMA PRESS RELEASE

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Burma Lawyers' Council (BLC) and The Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Altsean-Burma) express their outrage regarding the condemnation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by the Insein prison court in Rangoon to 18 months house arrest.

“This shocking verdict illustrates once more the Burmese junta's total disregard for its international human rights obligations and shows the real face of the regime. With the main opposition leader and 2,100 political prisoners behind bars, the elections planned by the regime for next year will be nothing but a mockery,” said Aung Htoo, General Secretary of BLC.

In an advocacy note released today, FIDH, BLC, and Altsean-Burma demonstrate that the widespread and systematic violations of international human rights and humanitarian law documented by numerous Burmese, regional and international NGOs and UN mechanisms over the past years amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes. FIDH, BLC and Altsean-Burma therefore call for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry by the UN Security Council.

“The condemnation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is not an isolated act of repression: it is taking place in a context where crimes against humanity and war crimes have been perpetrated for decades in Eastern Burma together with other grave human rights violations in the rest of the country. The international community must move immediately to stop this inhumanity: the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry by the Security Council is the first step for any process of justice to be initiated,” concluded Souhayr Belhassen, President of FIDH.

“The ongoing atrocities in Burma increase the urgency for a Commission of Inquiry. Even now, men, women and children continue to be subjected to extreme and systematic forms of violence and murder. The world should not allow this to go on”, emphasized Debbie Stothard, Coordinator of Altsean-Burma.

The Report entitled “Burma: An International Commission of Inquiry more urgent than ever,” can be downloaded at http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/bu08.pdf

Press contacts

Gael Grilhot, FIDH Press Office: + 33 1 43 55 90 19
Debbie Stothard, Coordinator of Altsean-Burma: +668 1686 1652
Aung Htoo, General Secretary of BLC: + 46 70 866 4159