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Upcoming Public Hearing and Seminar on Human Rights Abuses in Burma

By Burma Partnership  •  November 5, 2011

Burma Partnership, in collaboration with SAPA Working Group on ASEAN, Task Force on ASEAN and Burma, KontraS and Solidaritas Indonesia for ASEAN People, are holding two events in Jakarta, Indonesia, this coming Monday: a Public Hearing on Human Rights Abuses and a Seminar on the Human Rights Situation in Burma. These back-to-back events come one year after Burma’s elections in 2010 and less than two weeks before ASEAN is expected to announce a decision on Burma’s bid to chair the regional bloc in 2014. They will also highlight the urgent need for a Commission of Inquiry into crimes against humanity and war crimes in the country.

The public hearing in the morning will provide evidence of human rights abuses currently taking place in Burma that constitute violations of Burma’s international treaty obligations and likely rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The hearing will include video and in person testimonies from victims and witnesses about their experiences with rape, torture, forced labor, forced relocation and landmines. At the conclusion of the hearing, a panel of experts will provide their findings, which will be submitted to ASEAN and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

The Panel of Experts include:

  • Dr. Decha Tangseefa (Lecturer in Political Science, Thammasat University, Thailand)
  • Ms. Wathslah G. Naidu, Building Capacity for Change Programme Officer with International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific)
  • Mr. Nurkholis (Vice Chairperson of Indonesia National Commission on Human Rights/Komnas HAM)

In the afternoon seminar, the panel of experts will present their findings from the public hearing and individuals from Burma will provide an overview of the crimes currently taking place in the country. There will then be a discussion of the way forward for Burma and an exploration of the steps that need to be taken for Burma to transition to a democracy that is respectful of fundamental human rights.

Speakers will include:

  • Panel of Experts led by Mr. Nurkholis
  • Saw Kweh Say (Human Rights Activist from the Karen Community)
  • Nyi Nyi Aung (Former political prisoner from Burma)
  • Khin Ohmar (Coordinator Burma Partnership and Task Force on ASEAN Burma)
  • Mr. Agus Widjojo (National Institute for Democratic Governance)
  • Ms. Eva Sundari (Member of Indonesia House of Representative and President of AIPMC)

We will be tweeting live from the event (follow @burmapartners) and will issue a press release afterwards. The findings of the Panel of Experts and some of the video testimonials will also be available online afterwards.

The events will be held on Monday 7 November at the Grand Sayid Jaya Hotel, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Kav. 86, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia.The public hearing will be from 09:00 to 12:30 and the seminar from 14:00 to 16:00.

Read more about the panel of experts and speakers here.

Read a summary of the testimonies from the public hearing here.

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This post is in: Blog, Crimes Against Humanity

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