Human Rights Council President Announces Appointment of Marzuki Darusman as Chair of Myanmar Fact-finding Mission

GENEVA (27 July 2017) – The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli (El Salvador), has decided to establish a new composition of the Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar and appoint Mr. Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia) to serve as a member and its Chair.  Mr. Darusman will join Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka) and Mr. Christopher Dominic Sidoti (Australia) whose appointments were announced in May.

The Mission will serve in an independent and objective manner and will be supported by a team of human rights specialists in Geneva with various expertise pertinent to their mandate set out by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 34/22, adopted on 24 March 2017, to “establish facts and circumstances of the alleged recent human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar, in particular in Rakhine State”.

The Mission members will be meeting in Geneva in August to discuss the approach they will employ in discharging their mandate.

As in all such cases, the Mission will make it a priority to reach out to and engage constructively with the Government and other relevant interlocutors.  The Human Rights Council reiterates its hope that the Government of Myanmar will grant the Mission unfettered access to affected areas.

The Mission will present an oral update to the Council in September and submit a written report to the Council in March 2018.

Biographies of the members of the Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar

Mr. Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia) is a lawyer and human rights campaigner who served as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK (2010-2016) and member of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea (2013 to 2014). Prior to that he served as a member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons for Sri Lanka, and has served as Chair of the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission as well as Attorney General of the Republic of Indonesia 1999 to 2001. In 2010, he was assigned to serve as Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka and in 2009 he was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to a three-member UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka) is a lawyer by training and a civil society member of the Constitutional Council, formerly the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (2003-2006) and the Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (1984-2006). She has worked as the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (1994-2003), and as Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (2006-2012). In 2014, Ms. Coomaraswamy was appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as lead author on the Global Study on the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325, on Women, Peace and Security. As an academic, she is a Global Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law.

Mr. Christopher Dominic Sidoti (Australia) is an international human rights consultant who, since 2000, has provided consultancy services on human rights law and practices to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNDP, UNICEF, the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions and several national human rights institutions. He was director of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR; 2003-2007), served as Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-2000), Australian Law Reform Commissioner (1992-1995) and Foundation Director of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1987-1992). From 1999 to 2013 he was principal facilitator and interlocutor in a human rights initiative between the Government of Australia and the Government of Myanmar.

For information about the Fact-finding Mission please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/MyanmarFFM/Pages/Index.aspx

For more information about the Human Rights Council please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/hrc

Media contact:  Rolando Gómez, Public Information Officer OHCHR, + 41(0)22 917 9711, rgomez@ohchr.org 

View the original press release HERE.

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