Mock Tribunal to Highlight Crimes against Women in Burma
8 February 2010: An event planned for March 2nd in New York will be highlighting state-organized crimes against women in Burma. Deliberately planned to coincide with the meeting of United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, the event is aimed at raising international awareness of the plight of women, as well as, the ongoing crises in Burma.
Spearheaded by the Nobel Women’s Initiative in conjunction with the Women League of Burma (WLB), the event will showcase a mock trial in which members of Burma’s ruling military regime will be made to answer for their crimes against women in Burma.
A mock trial, the “International Tribunal on Crimes against Women of Burma” will be performed by eminent judges, including the Nobel laureates, and women representatives from Burma who will provide testimonies from personal experiences of having lived through a range of human rights abuses under the military regime.
Designed to support existing calls for an indictment of Burma’s ruling military regime for War Crimes and Crime against Humanity under the auspices of the UN Security Council, the mock trial will feature expert testimonies, as well as, real time accounts of women victims on how Burma’s ruling military regime and its security apparatus systematically committed crimes against women.
The mock Tribunal will also hear witness testimonies via video from Burmese women currently sheltering in neighboring countries on a range of state-orchestrated violations, including rape, trafficking, arbitrary arrest and detention, forced labor, portering and forced relocation.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative is an organization founded by five Nobel Peace laureates in 2006 to advance the cause of women around the world. Detained Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace laureate, is an honorary member of the group.
The planned event adds momentum to existing international efforts to have the United Nations Security Council establish a special Commission of Inquiry to investigate serious breach of human rights in Burma.
An independent investigation by the Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic concluded in May last year that based on the UN own documents, there might be enough evidence to prosecute Burma’s military regime for War Crimes and Crime against Humanity under international law.
Parliamentarians from several countries have since signed petitions calling for an international investigation into state-sanctioned crimes in Burma.