UN rights expert wants Myanmar political prisoner deaths investigated

[JURIST] At least 127 democracy activists held by the military junta in Myanmar have died from "torture or ill-treatment," according to a report [text, PDF] released Tuesday by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) [advocacy website]. The report by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro [UNHCHR profile], UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, calls for an independent inquiry into the deaths of political prisoners. "Such an investigation should seek the accountability of those responsible and compensation for the victim's families," Pinheiro wrote.

More than 1,100 political prisoners remain in custody, according to the report. Earlier this week, the government allowed a UN envoy to meet with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi [Nobel profile], who has been under house arrest [JURIST report] for 10 of the past 17 years. The Southeastern Asian nation, also known as Burma [CIA backgrounder], has been controlled by the junta since 1988. Since then, several attempts to draft a new constitution have broken down [JURIST report]. AFP has more.

 

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