The European Parliamentary Caucus on Burma (EPCB) today strongly condemned the sentencing and continued detention of Burma’s pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The caucus called for a global arms embargo and a commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity committed by the regime.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was accused of breaching the terms of her house arrest after the uninvited visit an American man, John Yettaw, has already spent almost 14 years in detention. After several months on trail, she was sentenced to 18 months under house arrest. Earlier this year the UN ruled that Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention is illegal under international law, and Burmese law.
The EPCB is confident that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has committed no crime and her imprisonment is once again a wake up call to the international community to take stronger action against the military regime, who are the real criminals by putting her under house arrest in the first place.
The United Nations has also accused the regime of a crime against humanity for its use of forced labour, and of war crimes as the regime breaks the Geneva Convention by deliberately targeting civilians. The regime’s decades-long campaign of ethnic cleansing has forced thousands of people from their homes with its use of rape as a weapon of war, forced labour, human minesweepers, the killing of civilians, and the destruction of more than 3,300 villages.
EPCB is outraged by the weak response from the international community. EPCB does welcome the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) press statement issued on May 22 urging Burma's military regime to release all political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and urged the Burmese military regime to enter into a political dialogue with democracy forces and representatives from ethnic groups.
However, in direct defiance of the UNSC, the regime is seeking to prolong the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and shows no sign of participating in dialogue either with her or all concerned parties including representatives from ethnic groups, as mandated by the UN General Assembly.
EPCB believes that it is time for the international community to translate words into actions by banning all weapons sales to Burma’s military regime.
Therefore the EPCB urges the UNSC to use all its influence to secure the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners and impose a global arms embargo against the military regime. EPCB further calls for a commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity being committed against ethnic minorities in Eastern Burma.