Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

U.N. rights council holds emergency session to examine Burma

Louise Arbour, United Nations high commissioner for human rights, speaking at an emergency U.N. session today, said that Burma (officially Myanmar) must be held responsible for its “shocking response” to peaceful protests, The Associated Press reported.

“The peaceful protests that we have witnessed in recent weeks and the shocking response by the authorities are only the most recent manifestations of the repression of fundamental rights and freedoms that have taken place for almost 20 years in Myanmar,” Arbour told the U.N. Human Rights council.

According to the Burmese government, only 10 people were killed during the demonstrations, however, dissident groups say that as many as 200 people have died, and 6,000 more have been detained.

A diplomat from Burma, Nyunt Swe, believes that Western countries are behind the protests. “The government has firm evidence that these protests were being helped both financially and materially by internal and external anti-government elements,” Swe said. “The protests are the long-awaited chance for some Western countries to initiate an action to intervene in the country.”

The emergency session was convened at the request of 18 European and other member states, with 37 observers, including the United States. The EU has crafted a resolution, which, if passed, would urge the government of Burma “to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” as well as “bring to justice perpetrators of human rights violations, including for the recent violations of the rights of peaceful protestors.”

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