Stop Licence to Rape in Shan State, Burma sign now

Joint Petition
Licence to Rape:
The widespread and systematic use of rape
as a weapon of war by the Burmese military regime in Shan State

We, from various organizations and individuals, come together to express our collective disgust and anger over the widespread and systematic use of rape as a weapon of war by the Burmese military regime. We ask the international community to take immediate action to end these practices and to protect the victims.

The data that has been documented by the brave women of the Shan Womens Action Network (SWAN) and Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF), published as Licence to Rape, has brought to public attention what, up until now, has been whispered in fear throughout the communities that have been ravaged by these acts of terror. Licence to Rape documents the irrefutable and horrific claims of the hundreds of women and girl-children identified as victims of the State Peace and Development Councils (SPDC) terror tactic that uses rape as a weapon of war in their violent anti-insurgency campaign against citizens of the Shan state.

According to the report, which documents 173 cases, 83\% of the rapes were committed by officers and, in most cases, in front of their troops. The rapes often involved extreme brutality and torture, and 25\% of the rapes resulted in death. 61\% were gang-rapes, and in some cases, women were detained and raped repeatedly for periods of up to four months. Only once was a perpetrator punished by their commanding officer.

All of these crimes took place within military bases and in forced relocation sites and have been committed with impunity.

We condemn these brutal acts of the SPDC against the women, girls and other members of Shan communities. We deplore the brazen denial by the SPDC of the information documented in Licence to Rape.

Licence to Rape provides the platform for condemnation of this violent military regime and sets the groundwork for international cooperation and intervention. The members of SWAN and SHRF, together with the survivors of these heinous crimes, have taken the courageous step to document and publicize these offenses. All of those involved in the documentation and publication are now the subjects of threats and intimidation. They will not be cowered into silence. Our organizations will do everything in our power to support their efforts. We are now asking for the collective support of the international community to recognize these offenses and to help bring an end to these unspeakable crimes.

We cannot stand idly by while the SPDC claims it is taking steps towards peace, democracy and reconciliation when it continues to silence people who expose the regimes atrocities, through brutal intimidation, and often extermination. We cannot stand by as it continues to commit these atrocities. The report indicates that the recorded incidences of rape committed by the Burmese military in 2001 have drastically increased since 1996. Our silence gives them strength. Our inaction makes these acts permissible.

We urge the SPDC:

 To immediately implement a nationwide ceasefire in order to stop militarization and anti-insurgency campaigns in the ethnic states;

 To begin tripartite dialogue with representatives of non-Burman ethnic nationalities and the democratic opposition on the country's political future; and

 To stop sexual violence against ethnic women and to end the culture of impunity.

We appeal to the international community:

 to voice its concern about the contents and findings of the report; and

 to request the UN Secretary-General to employ his good offices, through his Special Envoy Ambassador Razali Ismail, through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and through the Special Rapporteurs on the Human Rights Situation in Burma and Elimination of Violence Against Women to investigate the contents and the findings of the report.

We appeal to the international community and international institutions to discontinue all financial assistance and other forms of aid to the SPDC until genuine steps are taken towards peace and democracy in Burma.

We are asking the Royal Government of Thailand to take action to protect the victims that have fled across the border. There is nowhere for the rape survivors to turn to inside Shan state for any medical or social support, let alone for legal recourse. Furthermore, those who have fled to Thailand have been denied any humanitarian assistance and are constantly under threat for their security and for their lives.

We, therefore, urge the Royal Government of Thailand:

 to allow Shan civilians seeking asylum to cross the border into Thailand, to access refugee camps and UNHCR;

 to allow rape survivors access to services provided by international humanitarian organizations, particularly psychosocial and medical services;

 to not repatriate Shan women directly to Burmese military and to exercise particular caution in relation to the deportation of Shan migrants as many are genuine refugees;

 to suspend its repatriation program until such time that an independent body determines the safety and security of the refugees and to allow the international community and UN agencies, particularly UNHCR, ILO and the IOM, to participate in any discussions, negotiations and/or repatriation programs involving Burmese migrants. Such discussions must address the root causes for the outflow of migrant workers; and

 to ensure the safety and security of the people involved in the documentation and publication of Licence to Rape.

We, the following organisations, strongly condemn the widespread and systematic use of rapeas a weapon of war by the Burmese military regime in Shan State.

 Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia), Thailand
 Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Thailand
 Alternative Asean Network on Burma (Altsean Burma), Thailand
 Friends without Border, Thailand

4 September 2002

Note: Please join us in our collective efforts to protect the victims, to put the perpetrators to justice and prevent these acts of terror from continuing unimpeded.

Justice for the victims of rape!
Peace and democracy to the women and men of Burma!

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Latest Signatures

  • 08 January 20161000. Jim G
    I support this petition
  • 27 December 2015999. Salai Zaceul
    Eevery human being needs to condemn all forms of violences systemeticallly committed by Burmese military generals
  • 20 December 2015998. Elisabeth E
    I support this petition
  • 02 December 2015997. Michael M
    I support this petition
  • 02 December 2015996. Tsaikham Strickland
    It is great and the right time to take this action appear to the people in the world. Please go ahead still these cases go to the War Criminal. Bring those who commit this unhuman acts in our Shan State to the War Criminal Court.
  • 01 December 2015995. Ximena A
    I support this petition
  • 26 November 2015994. David M
    I support this petition
  • 23 November 2015993. Global Allianceagainsttrafficinwomenf
    Alliance for the Advancement of Women, Thailand
  • 23 November 2015992. Lily Z
    I support this petition
  • 15 November 2015991. Marc A
    I support this petition
  • 31 October 2015990. Rita S
    I support this petition
  • 28 October 2015989. Ronald L
    I support this petition
  • 21 October 2015988. Anna M
    Arizona, USA
  • 06 October 2015987. Omsin Phillips
    I support this petition
  • 28 September 2015986. Images Asiaenvironmentd
    restoration of the rule of law, respect for justice and for womankind is so badly needed in that benighted land
  • 28 September 2015985. Rod B
    As a male, Rape as a military weapon is a Crime against humanity and perpetrators should be charged!
  • 22 September 2015984. Erin A
    I support this petition
  • 13 September 2015983. Khaing Dhuw
    Really need and quickly
  • 08 September 2015982. Khaing M
  • 06 September 2015981. Val B
    I support this petition
  • 19 August 2015980. Terre Desfemmeshumanrightsforw
    I support this petition
  • 30 July 2015979. Tenaya C
    Would you want your sister/mother/daughter/wife/girlfriend to be raped? What if you were conceived of rape? What is unjust for one is unjust for all.
  • 10 July 2015978. Mike C
    I support this petition
  • 06 July 2015977. Kieran S
    I support this petition
  • 27 June 2015976. Vathana Fv
    I support this petition
  • 22 June 2015975. Rossette M
    I support this petition
  • 12 June 2015974. Samantha U
    I support this petition

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