Target: President Thein Sein, Myanmar
Goal: Investigate claims of ‘war rape’ by the Burmese military against Kachin and Shan civilians
The Women’s League of Burma has accused the Burmese military of using rape as a weapon of war. The organization has documented over 100 rapes; at least 95 of these were related to offensive military engagements against ethnic minority Kachin and Shan insurgents northeast Myanmar.
The institutional use of sexual violence as a weapon of war is ‘war rape’ and stands as a violation of the human rights of the Kachin and Shan peoples.
Unfortunately, war rape has a long and gruesome history of being used against civilian populations as a disturbing form of psychological warfare. However, the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council have established war rape as a crime against humanity, a war crime, and a sign of genocide. Therefore, the alleged actions by the Burmese military violate international human rights law and demand investigation.
The United States’ State Department has already requested an investigation into the allegations. However, Myanmar’s government has denied rape is used as a weapon and will likely continue to do so without international pressure.
Moreover, while an investigation is necessary, there should be immediate preventive action as well. The lack of “professionalization” within the Burmese military has been pointed to as a primary cause of the war rape allegations. Therefore, the government needs to begin human rights education programs to guarantee an end to this war crime.
Sign this petition to urge the president of Myanmar to immediately begin an investigation into the allegations, prosecute those responsible, and institute education programs to ensure this practice does not continue.
Dear President Thein Sein,
Your government’s military has been accused of a serious institutional war crime and human rights violation: rape as a weapon of war. More than 100 alleged rapes have been reported by the Women’s League of Burma and at least 95 of those were linked to Burmese military offensives against the Kachin and Shan insurgents.
The institutional use of rape as a war weapon is unjust and a serious breach of international law. War rape is considered a war crime and a crime against humanity by the International criminal court. That means, if there is not a formal investigation, your administration would be held responsible for war crimes committed by your military.
It is unjust and cruel for rape to be used as a weapon of war. I urge you to open a formal investigation into the matter and begin human rights education for your military to prevent further acts of sexual violence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Thai Government via Wikimedia Commons