The Rome-based Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) has set up its first-ever Opinion Tribunal on Myanmar.
The Rome-based Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) will hold the Concluding Session of its proceedings on the Rohingyas, the Kachins, the Myanmar Muslims, and other groups in Myanmar at University of Malaya Law School in Kuala Lumpur from the 18th to the 22nd of September, 2017.
The Inaugural Session was held at the International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London on the 6th and 7th of March 2017. The Tribunal there urged the United Nations (UN) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take swift and effective measures to stop international state crimes against the Rohingyas and Kachins, specifically.
The establishment of this Peoples’ Tribunal is in response to the requests made by Myanmar’s Rohingya, Kachin, and Myanmar Muslim victims, all of whom have made credible allegations that their respective ethnic communities have suffered international crimes at the hands of Myanmar government troops, including crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
The Tribunal on Myanmar is coordinated by a steering committee made up of Rohingya, Kachin, and Burmese human rights campaigners in cooperation with the PPT Secretariat in Rome, Italy.
Bios for the Expert Witnesses:
Dr. Chowdhury R. Abrar
C R Abrar teaches International Relations and directs the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has done research on Rohingya refugees, Bihari stateless people, labour migration and recruitment industry issues. Abrar was instrumental in the movement for citizenship rights of the camp dwelling Bihari people and civic campaign for allowing admission to Rohingya refugees. He also successfully filed public interest litigation for the release of several Rohingya asylum seekers who served out their sentence but were still languishing in prisons. Dr. Abrar is President of leading rights organisation Odhikar (Rights) of Bangladesh. He studied at the Universities of Dhaka and Sussex, and Griffith University, Australia. He is a regular contributor on migration and rights issues to English dailies.
Kyaw Win is a human rights activist, born and brought up in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar). Kyaw Win graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Management with an Accounting pathway from the University of Westminster in London. He lives in the United Kingdom with his family. In 2009, Kyaw Win joined the Burmese Muslim Association, where he became head of the Information Committee and obtained a position as Secretary. In 2014, Kyaw Win founded the Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN) in London.
Dr. Maung Zarni
A long-time Burmese human rights activist, Maung Zarni is Non-resident Research Fellow with the Documentation Center of Cambodia. He has organized international conferences on the plight of Rohingyas at the London School of Economics (2014), Harvard University (2014), Norwegian Nobel Institute and Oxford University (2015), and initiated the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Myanmar. He taught sociology of education at National Louis University in Chicago, and he has held teaching, research, leadership and visiting fellowships at the Rockefeller Foundation, Georgetown, UCL Institute of Education, Oxford, LSE, University of Malaya, University of Brunei, and Harvard. Maung Zarni holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and an MA from the University of California at Davis.
Dr. Gregory Stanton
Dr. Gregory Stanton is Research Professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia. He was the President (2007 – 2009) and First Vice President (2005 – 2007) of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). Dr. Stanton is the founder (1999) and chairman of Genocide Watch (http://www.genocidewatch.com), the founder (1981) and director of the Cambodian Genocide Project, and is the founder (1999) and chairman of the Alliance Against Genocide, which has 65 member organizations in 24 countries. Dr. Stanton served in the State Department (1992-1999), where he drafted the United Nations Security Council resolutions that created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and wrote the options paper on ways to bring the Khmer Rouge to justice in Cambodia. He holds a BA (Oberlin College), MTS (Harvard Divinity School), MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology (U. of Chicago), and J.D. (Yale Law School.)
Razia Sultana is a Rohingya lawyer who practices law in Chittagong Court System, Bangladesh. She holds a BA and LLB from Bangladesh and has received training in humanitarian law & human rights at the diploma level from Canada. Based on her interviews with Rohingya rape victims in 2017, she authored the report entitled “No need to cover our faces: the Rohingya Rape Victims of the Burmese Military”, (Burma Task Force, USA, 2017).
Bios for the Judges:
Daniel Feierstein (Argentina)
A researcher at CONICET (National Council for Scientific and Technical Research), based at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (Third of February National University), Argentina, where he founded and runs the Centre for Genocide Studies. He holds a chair in the Faculty of Social Sciences of Buenos Aires University, teaching ‘analysis of genocidal social practices’. He is the former President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS, 2013-2015).
Zulaiha Ismail (Malaysia)
Currently a Trustee of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, an NGO committed to energising peace and criminalising wars. As past Executive Director, she organised international conferences, and participated in humanitarian aid projects as well as engaging with fellow activists around the world. She also serves in the KL Foundation to Criminalise War, and sits on its Commission in investigating war crimes. This has resulted in three International Tribunals being held, one of which addressed Israeli war crimes. She continues to work in a personal capacity with NGO’s in Lebanon, specifically on the plight of Palestinian refugee camps, with a focus on their right of return.
Helen Jarvis (Cambodia-Australia)
She holds a PhD from the University of Sydney in Indonesian studies. Since the mid-1990s, she has worked on issues relating to crimes against humanity and genocide, mainly focusing on Cambodia, including service as Chief of Public Affairs and then Chief of the Victims’ Support Section of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Helen is a Vice-President of the Permanent People’s Tribunal and a member of the International Advisory Committee of UNESCO’s Memory of the World program and of the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Gill H. Boehringer (Australia)
Former Head of Law School, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, he has also taught and researched in universities of the USA, Northern Ireland, England, and Tanzania. He has taught many subjects in law as well as sociology of education, sociology of deviance, anthropology, and criminology. He has served as a panel member on the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Cambodia inquiring into the garment industry, in Mexico inquiring into globalization and the social crisis, and in Indonesia on the garment industry.
Nursyahbani Katjasungkana (Indonesia)
She is a human rights lawyer, working at several NGO’s mainly committed to human and women’s rights. She was Director of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (1987-1993), co-founder of APIK, Indonesian Women Association for Justice. She was member of the Peoples’ Consultative Assembly (1999-2004) and member of Parliament (2004-2009). She served as prosecutor of The Women’s International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery (Tokyo, 2000) and General Coordinator of the International People’s Tribunal on Crimes against Humanity and Genocide 1965-1966 in Indonesia. Currently she is the National Coordinator of the Indonesian Association of Legal Aid Societies for Women.
Shadi Sadr (Iran)
She is an Iranian human rights lawyer who has a Masters of International Law from the University of Tehran. She is the founder and director of Raahi, a legal centre for women, which was closed down by the Iranian authorities in 2007 in a wave of repression against civil society. She has received several awards such as the Human Rights Tulip and Alexander Prize of the Law School of Santa Clara University. In 2010 Shadi Sadr established the organisation Justice for Iran (JFI), which aims to address and eradicate the practice of impunity in the country. As its Executive Director, she has overseen the creation and implementation of several research projects on the rights of ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTs, women, and those who are persecuted because of their political beliefs. Shadi Sadr served as a member of the panel of judges for the International People’s Tribunal on Crimes against Humanity and Genocide 1965-1966 in Indonesia.
Nello Rossi (Italy)
He is currently Solicitor General at the Supreme Court of Cassation, Italy. Since 2007 until 2015 he was the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Deputy in Rome, coordinator of the departments specialising in economic crimes and computer crimes. From 2002 to 2007 he was a Justice at the Court of Cassation , in the criminal division of the Court. Until 2016 he was also the Ministry of Justice delegate to the Financial Action Task Force on money laundering ( FATF) set up by the OECD. For nearly 15 years, to 2012, he co-edited the legal journal “Questione Giustizia” under the auspices of Magistratura Democratica.