Kerry Pushes Rice to Consider Burmese Junta’s Actions as “Crimes Against Humanity”

06/17/2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. John Kerry today sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to express his grave concerns over the Burmese military junta’s restricting foreign aid to millions devastated by the recent cyclone, and to ask whether the junta’s actions may constitute “crimes against humanity” under international law. Kerry has requested a legal opinion from the State Department.

“The junta’s refusal to accept foreign aid has inflicted extraordinary pain and suffering on the Burmese people,” said Sen. Kerry. “The systematic restrictions on international support have denied lifesaving disaster assistance to over a million people. Our State Department should be considering every possible tool to create leverage to force the junta to allow humanitarian aid to reach the people. That includes investigating whether the junta’s actions constitute a crime against humanity under international law.”

The text of the letter is as follows:
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