Thursday, November 15, 2007

UN Envoy Pushes for Non-junta Meetings in Burma

Source: Agence France-Presse via

A UN human rights envoy Wednesday pressed Burma's junta to allow him to meet with people other than officials and expressed concern over the arrest of a labor activist.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro was "concerned" by the arrest of Su Su Nway during his mission to investigate the recent crackdown on pro-democracy protestors and other rights abuses, a UN official told AFP.

Pinheiro Wednesday met with Labor Minister Aung Kyi, who was appointed to liaise with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi following international outrage at the junta's crackdown.

The envoy also met with the foreign and information ministers and reiterated his request to meet with non-government people, the UN said. He has also asked to meet prisoners.

"While thanking the authorities for the wide range of meetings with government officials, the special rapporteur renewed to the authorities his request to be given access to other non-government interlocutors," the UN said in a statement.

Human rights groups have called on Pinheiro to pressure the junta to release all political prisoners during his mission.

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