Burma blocked aid supplies – report
Some are suggesting that Burma should be referred to the International Criminal Court for blocking humanitarian relief during last year’s cyclone. Minority ethnic groups, especially Christians, were denied aid and forced into labor for reconstruction.
2/27/09 Burma (IrishTimes) A report, framed around extensive interviews with relief workers and survivors, says the government’s “systematic obstruction” of relief aid, penalisation of minority ethnic groups and use of forced labour in reconstruction could constitute crimes against humanity.
“The data reveal systematic obstruction of relief aid, wilful acts of theft and sale of relief supplies, forced relocation, and the use of forced labour for reconstruction projects, including forced child labour,” the report states
Among the 90 relief workers and survivors interviewed was a physician who said he had to flee the country when the military started asking questions about his connections with external relief agencies. Another relief worker said the government refused to give aid to Christian minorities “because they know they may be helped by Christian organisations”. The report says there is evidence of “multiple human rights violations and the abrogation of international humanitarian relief norms and international legal frameworks for disaster relief”.
These could constitute crimes against humanity, it says.
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