By Shannon Sommerauer
In our second session of testimony, we heard from four testifiers who have experienced egregious civil and political rights violations at the hands of the military regime in Burma. In particular, they outlined the ways in which women political prisoners face risks which are unknown to men. Included among these additional dangers are sexual and reproductive violence.
Tribunal judge Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn commented that what is clear from these testimonies is that “democracy has been stolen from the people” in Burma. One of the testifiers told us that when she was working with Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the early 1990s, there was a “ray of democracy” in the country, but that she does not know when they will see it again.
We have an important opportunity here to stand in solidarity with the people of Burma in their struggle for democracy. The testifiers we have heard from so far have been unanimous in their request for action from the international community. As a start, I will take this opportunity to echo the demand of Professor Muntarbhorn – free all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi now!
The International Tribunal continues on this afternoon. Watch the live webcast at http://tinyurl.com/yzywzgn#burma!
You can also follow testimony updates on Twitter!