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UN rights expert concludes visit to Myanmar

Yangon, 7 August 2008: - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, completed his visit to Myanmar today.

At the end of the four-day mission, the independent human rights expert who is appointed by the Human Rights Council, expressed his appreciation to the authorities for the cooperation extended during his visit. While in Myanmar, he had constructive meetings with the Government, including with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labour and Home Affairs. He also met with the Chief of the Myanmar Police Force, as well as representatives of the national human rights body, the National Convention and the Referendum Holding Commission.

The Special Rapporteur met with the Tripartite Core Group (TCG) and travelled to areas affected by Cyclone Nargis, including Laputta, Kyaukalat, Pyinsalu and Kyet Shar, where he took note of the progress made in the recovery phase in the aftermath of the disaster. His visit to Kayin State was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather.

At the Insein Prison, Mr Quintana was able to speak in private with U Win Tin, Thurein Aung, Kyaw Kyaw, Su Su Nway and U Gambira. Meetings were held with representatives of political parties, including the National League of Democracy and the 88 Generation Student Youth (Union of Myanmar).

Meetings were also held with representatives of national NGOs including the Myanmar Red Cross, Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association and Myanmar Women´s Federation. He also met with members of the diplomatic community and the United Nations Country Team.

The Special Rapporteur has already discussed with the authorities the possibility of his second mission before reporting to the Human Rights Council in March 2009. Prior to this, he will also present his findings and recommendations in his forthcoming report to the General Assembly.