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UN expert welcomes release of seven prisoners of conscience by the Government of Myanmar

23 September 2008

GENEVA: The Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the Situation of human rights in Myanmar, Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana, welcomed the reported release of seven prisoners of conscience in Myanmar today.

The Special Rapporteur said he hoped that the release of U Win Tin, Dr.May Win Myint, U Aung Soe Myint, U Khin Maung Swe, Win Htain, Dr.Than Nyein and U Thein Naing would be the first in a series of releases of other prisoners of conscience, some 2000 of whom are currently estimated to be still detained in Myanmar.

Ojea Quintana said this development marked a positive sign of cooperation from the Government of Myanmar with his mandate. The Special Rapporteur has proposed to the Government four core human rights elements to help pave the road to democracy. One of these concerned the progressive release of all prisoners of conscience starting with the elderly, those with health limitations and long-serving prisoners.

For more information call +4122 928 9214 or e-mail sshahidzadeh@ohchr.org