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UN Rights Expert Meets Political Prisoners In Burm


UN rights expert meets with political prisoners on final day of Myanmar visit

The United Nations human rights official investigating alleged abuses by the Myanmar Government during a recent crackdown on demonstrators met with a group of political prisoners today before concluding his five-day visit to the South-East Asian nation.

Before departing Yangon today, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the UN Special Rapporteur for Myanmar, told reporters that, among his stops, he visited the Insein Jail twice, with the second visit taking place this afternoon, when he met some political prisoners.

Recapping his visit, Mr. Pinheiro - an independent expert who reports directly to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council - also provided details of his meetings, both in Yangon and the new capital Nay Pyi Taw, with Myanmar officials, the UN Country Team, monks, detainees and representatives of ethnic groups over the past five days.

The Special Rapporteur, whose last mission to Myanmar was in 2003, arrived in the country on Saturday, at the invitation of the Government, on a mission to investigate allegations of abuses by the authorities in response to peaceful demonstrations, determine the numbers and whereabouts of those detained or killed, and collect testimony about what happened.

Mr. Pinheiro's trip follows that of the Secretary-General's Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari, who recently met senior officials in the country on speeding up the process of democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar.

ENDS

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