Myanmar: UN rights expert welcomes release of political prisoners

7 July 2005

The United Nations expert dealing with human rights in Myanmar today welcomed the news of the release yesterday of 249 political prisoners – including politicians, an editor and political party members – from various prisons throughout the South Asian country.

In a statement released in Geneva today, Professor Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the UN Commission on Human Rights' Special Rapporteur of dealing with the situation of human rights in Myanmar, said he hoped that these releases will be followed by the release of all remaining political prisoners.

"The release of all remaining political prisoners would also send an important signal to the people of Myanmar and the international community that the Government is committed to a process of reconciliation and to establishing an inclusive and participatory democracy in Myanmar," said the statement.

"The Special Rapporteur firmly believes that former political prisoners can make a valuable contribution to the process of national reconciliation," it added.


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