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Investigate crimes against humanity in Burma

10 December 2009
Media Statement

New Zealand MPs back call for UN Security Council to investigate crimes against humanity in Burma

A significant number of New Zealand MPs are joining the call to urge the UN Security Council to launch an investigation into crimes against humanity committed by the military regime in Burma, says Labour MP Maryan Street.

“They are joining over 400 Members of Parliament from 29 countries around the world in the call for the council to launch the investigation and to impose a global arms embargo on that regime.

“Today is International Human Rights Day and is a particularly appropriate time to acknowledge the need for such action, which is long overdue,” says Maryan Street, who chairs the Cross-Party Parliamentary Group on Burma.

“So far 23 New Zealand MPs, including Labour Leader Phil Goff and many of my Labour colleagues, have signed the letter to the UN Security Council. MPs from the Green Party and the Maori Party have also signed.

“Burma’s military regime has carried out brutal attacks on its own people for decades. According to the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, a humanitarian agency providing aid to Burmese refugees and displaced persons for 25 years, the regime has destroyed over 3,500 ethnic minority villages in Eastern Burma since 1996.

“At least 75,000 people were forced to leave their homes during the past year alone and more than half a million people remain internally displaced.

“These crimes are well documented by UN bodies, yet no effective action has been taken.

“It’s time for the United Nations to act and act quickly,” Maryan Street says.

ENDS

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