The Department of State yesterday announced an additional contribution of $1 million through its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM). During an event cohosted on the margins of the UN General Assembly by the Department of State and the Atlantic Council titled, “Safeguarding Victims and Witnesses in Atrocity Crime Trials: A Call to Courts and Governments,” the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack announced the contribution to support victims and witnesses of abuses by the Burmese military, calling on other governments to similarly provide assistance to safeguard victims of and witnesses to atrocity crimes.
There is a clear and pressing need to protect victims of and witnesses to crimes in Burma. Credible information provided by victims and witnesses of atrocities committed in Burma is a threat to the military regime, which is actively targeting dissenting voices through forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. This contribution will further support the IIMM’s efforts to ensure victim and witness protection, while also increasing the mechanism’s access to important credible information of crimes committed within the scope of the IIMM’s mandate to investigate, collect, preserve, and analyze evidence of the most serious international crimes in Burma since 2011.
The United States remains firmly committed to pursuing justice for victims and accountability for those responsible for atrocities and other human rights violations across Burma.
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