A United Nations human rights expert monitoring the situation in Myanmar has just concluded a visit to the country, where he met with opposition and government officials.
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation in Myanmar, had to cut short his visit, conducted at Yangon's invitation, due to illness, but not before holding meetings in several parts of the country.
Arriving in Yangon on 9 October, Mr. Pinheiro spent four days meeting with government officials and ethnic minority leaders. During that time, he also visited educational, religious, academic and other institutions. In addition, he 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 in Shan State, where he was received by local authorities. The mission visited a Wa ceasefire area, the new border town of Muse, and the Lashio prison.
The following day, Mr. Pinheiro travelled to Mandalay, holding meetings with local authorities. While there, he also visited the office of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) as well as the Mandalay central prison, the Hton-Bo labour camp, and a university in Sagaing Division.
Having to cut his mission short for health reasons, Mr. Pinheiro cancelled scheduled visits to Kachin State, Insein prison and a labour camp near Yangon. Over the course of his visit, however, the Special Rapporteur was able to meet the Foreign Minister and Deputy Foreign Minister of Myanmar, as well as the leadership of the NLD, including its Secretary General.