U.N. Rights Official Heads To Myanmar
August 18, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 18 (UPI) — The United Nations announced it was sending a special envoy to assess the human rights situation under Myanmar’s new government.
Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special envoy on human rights in Myanmar, announced he was launching a fact-finding mission Saturday to investigate the situation in the country.
“This mission takes place in a somehow different political context, with a new government in place since April, following last year’s elections and my main objective is to assess the human rights situation from that perspective,” he said in a statement.
Myanmar touted last year’s general elections, the first in nearly two decades, as a path toward civilian leadership. The election was considered a sham by the international community.
Human Rights Watch, in a joint report with the Karen Human Rights Group, accused the military in Myanmar of torturing, executing and using convicted prisoners as human shields.
The organizations in their report called for a commission led by the United Nations to investigate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Myanmar.
The U.N. envoy noted his mission came at the request of the government in Myanmar.