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UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON MYANMAR WELCOMES THE RELEASE OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER SU SU NWAY

7 June 2006

The following statement was issued today by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro:


The Special Rapporteur welcomes the release of human rights defender Su Su Nway on 6 June. In 2005, she was the first person in Myanmar to successfully prosecute local government officials for imposing forced labour. Subsequently, she was prosecuted by other local officials for alleged criminal intimidation. She has been incarcerated since October 2005, and her health condition had been a cause of concern.

The Special Rapporteur wishes to take this opportunity to appeal to the Government of Myanmar to unconditionally release all remaining prisoners of conscience, as he has called for on many occasions. This will be critical in facilitating national reconciliation and democratic transition, to which the Myanmar leadership has committed itself, again most recently during the visit to Myanmar by United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Mr. Ibrahim Gambari.