Wrapping up session, UN Human Rights Council to send expert to Myanmar

14 December 2007 – The United Nations Human Rights Council concluded its sixth session today in Geneva, adopting 13 resolutions and decisions, including a request that the independent expert on Myanmar return to the South-East Asian nation for further assessments.

The 47-member body adopted a resolution by consensus asking Special Rapporteur Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro to conduct a follow-up mission to look into the ongoing human rights violations resulting from the violent repression of recent peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar before the Council’s next session in March 2008.

“Several reports of killings indicate that the figure provided by the authorities may greatly underestimate the reality,” he wrote in a report presented to the Council earlier this week, with at least 31 people having died during the crackdown by the Government on protesters a few months ago – 16 more than had been acknowledged by the authorities.

Regarding Sudan, the Council adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the African nation by one year.

In a separate resolution, the body voiced concern that the country had not implemented the many recommendations of the Group of Experts, comprising seven independent rights experts.

In particular, the Council said it was worried about the fact that perpetrators of past and ongoing human rights violations and international humanitarian law in the war-ravaged Darfur region have not been brought to justice.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in the area and at least 2.2 million others displaced since rebels began fighting Government forces and allied militia known as the Janjaweed in 2003.

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