Saturday, November 10, 2007

UN Rights Expert Due in Burma as Groups Demand Prisoner Release

Source: Channel News Asia

UN human rights expert Paulo Sergio Pinheiro was due Sunday to start his first visit to Myanmar in four years as rights groups demanded the ruling military government release all political prisoners.

The Brazilian rights expert earlier this week welcomed the generals' invitation as a "positive indication" of their desire to cooperate during his November 11-15 visit, which comes amid apparent signs of progress on establishing dialogue between the military government and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Rights groups said Pinheiro's visit was a chance to push the generals on reforms and demanded the release of all political prisoners.

Amnesty International wrote Friday to Myanmar's authorities with a briefing paper outlining "grave and ongoing human rights violations" committed since the start of the clampdown, which sparked international outrage.

Amnesty estimated 700 political prisoners were still in detention, including 91 detained during the recent protests, and accused the authorities of the enforced disappearance of at least 72 people.

For the full report, please click here.

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