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Special Rapporteur on Myanmar: UN P

Press Release


18 October 2001

      The Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the 
situation in
      Myanmar, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, has just concluded his first 
fact-finding mission to
      that country.

      At the invitation of the Government, the Special Rapporteur arrived 
in Yangon on 9
      October after a stop-over in Singapore where he had consultations 
with officials and
      with academic institutions. Mr. Pinheiro made an initial visit to 
Myanmar earlier this

      In Yangon, where he stayed for four days, the Special Rapporteur met with
      Government officials and ethnic minority leaders, and visited 
educational, religious,
      academic and other institutions. He also met with the UN country 
team, members of
      the diplomatic community, and international civil society organizations.

      On 13 October the Special Rapporteur went with his team to Lashio 
(Shan State),
      where he was received by local authorities. The mission visited a Wa 
      area, the new border town of Muse, and the Lashio prison.

      The following day the mission travelled to Mandalay and had meetings 
with local
      authorities, visited the office of the National League for Democracy 
(NLD), the
      Mandalay central prison, Hton-Bo labour camp, and a university in 
Sagaing Division.

      On 17 October, the mission, originally scheduled to last until 20 
October, had to be
      suspended due to an ailment of the Special Rapporteur, who was 
obliged to return
      to his home country of Brazil. As a consequence, visits to Kachin 
State, Insein
      prison, and a labour camp near Yangon had to be cancelled. The Special
      Rapporteur was however able to meet the Foreign Minister, Deputy Foreign
      Minister, as well as the leadership of the NLD, including its 
Secretary General.

      Before leaving for Brazil, the Special Rapporteur said he had 
received full and
      unhindered cooperation on the part of the Myanmar Government during 
this mission.
      He said he hoped to be able to return to Myanmar as soon as his 
health permits to
      pursue his fact-finding mission and efforts to develop partnership 
with all interested
      parties towards improving the human rights situation in the country.