Liverpool Honours Those Who Battle the Brutal Giants

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), May 4, 2009 | Go to article overview

Liverpool Honours Those Who Battle the Brutal Giants


Byline: PETER ELSON

WHILE much has changed in Liverpool, it still contributes to global affairs, courtesy of David Alton's astonishing Roscoe Lectures, now in their 11th year.

In his role as chair of Liverpool John Moores University Citizenship department, not only will he welcome one of the world's outstanding international criminal lawyers, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, on Wednesday, but he will also honour one of the most courageous political crusaders for democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi.

This LMJU fellowship will be granted in absentia to her sister-in-law, Lucinda Phillips, from Wiltshire, as Dr Suu Kyi is under permanent house arrest in Burma. She was elected prime minister of Burma in 1990, but never allowed to take power.

Dr Suu Kyi was married to the late English academic, Michael Aris, with whom she has two sons. When Aris contracted terminal cancer, Prof Lord Alton and fellowcrossbencher Lord Jack Weatherill visited the Burmese ambassador in London to plead that he should be granted his dying wish to visit his wife.

David recalls: "It fell on deaf ears, which tells you all you need to know about this regime of almost unparalleled cruelty. They were willing to let Dr Suu Kyi come to the UK, but this was a cold calculation as they would not let her back into Burma. She's an icon of democracy and an extraordinary example of citizens who take on giants, big and small." Luis Moreno-Ocampo uses international criminal law as an innovative instrument to prosecute and prevent genocide via the International Criminal Court, where he is chief prosecutor, says David.

"This is a relatively new idea and 100 countries have given their signatures of support. Many have already called on the ICC to investigate crimes of genocide and abuses against humanity.

An Argentinian, Moreno-Ocampo successfully prosecuted senior military The a deed chiefs in his country for mass killings and human rights abuses after the Falklands War. …

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