sentence on Pastor Gracy in Chin State, Burma
Date: July 19, 2001
For Immediate release
We, the undersigned Chin women residing in various parts of the world, are deeply shocked and disturbed by yet another arrest, imprisonment and unjustified sentencing of Ms. Grace, a woman Pastor of Rinpi Baptist Church, Chin State, to two years imprisonment with hard labor by the Burmese military junta, the State Peace and Development Council.
27 year-old Ms Grace was arrested on February 13, 2001 by the Burmese army on unjustifiable allegations that she simpathized and supported members of the Chin National Front. For months, she was detained in Haka army camp, where there is no adequate and separate prison facilities for women. Reports say that Pastor Gracy had been sent to Kalewa Hard Labor Camp on July 17,2001 where she will serve her two-year sentence with hard labor.
We are deeply concerned about the fate of Pastor Gracy in prison. We vehemently condemn and deplore this atrocious and inhuman sentence imposed on her. The arrest of Pastor Gracy is a sheer intent of the Burmese military to target Christian leader for false accusations to discourage Chin Christians from freely practicing their faith.
The verdict to convict Pastor Gracy of two-year rigorous imprisonment has been reached by a highly non-independent court, which acts at the helm of the Burmese junta. The denial of Pastor Gracy of her right to a fair and impartial trial, and of her civil rights constitute gross violations under Burma’s international human rights obligations particularly, Convention on Elimination of All kinds of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which it ratified. We express our solidarity with Pastor Gracy and other Chin women who are victims of violations and suppression by the Burmese military junta.
We urge the Burmese military junta, State Peace and Development Council:
To immediately and unconditionally release Pastor Gracy
To respect human rights of Chin women
To stop committing atrocities against Chin women
To stop persecuting Chin Christians
Undersign Women groups:
1. Women Department ( Chin Human Rights Organization )
2. Chin Women Organization ( CWO, New Delhi, India )
3. Women Department ( Chin Baptist Mission Church, Washington D C, USA)
4. Women Department ( Dallas Chin Baptist Church, Texas, USA)
5. Women Department ( Chin Community Church, Indianapolis, USA)
6. Women Department ( Chin Christian Fellowship, New Delhi, India)
7. Chin Women Group ( Sweden )
8. Chin Women Group ( Australia )
9. Chin Women Group ( Ottawa Chin Christian Fellowship, Canada )