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Myanmar crackdown toll put at 31
UN special rapporteur says military regime had 'underestimated the reality'.
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2007 06:50 GMT

Pinheiro's report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next week [EPA] 

At least 31 people were killed in Myanmar during a crackdown on anti-government protests in September, a UN human rights expert has said.
 
"Several reports of killings indicate that the figure provided by the authorities may greatly understimate the reality," Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said.
Myanmar's junta had confirmed the deaths of 15 people during the unrest, but Pinheiro said he had received information that at least a further 16 people had been killed.
 
Pinheiro's report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next week.
"The use of lethal force by law enforcement officials from September 26-29 in Myanmar was inconsistent with the fundamental principles reflected in the basic international norms deriving from international customary law," the UN special rapporteur added.
 

Degrading treatment

  

Detainees remain subject to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture with political activists and human rights defenders targeted, Pinheiro said.

  

More than 600 people have been detained and 74 listed as missing in the wake of the crackdown, Pinheiro said, adding that Myanmar's government had not taken serious steps to respect human rights.

 

The UN expert visited Myanmar in November, but was unable to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, the jailed pro-democracy leader.

  

He said he was "reassured by the authorities that this option will remain on the agenda of his follow-up missions."

The crackdown in September was sparked by protests against a steep rise in fuel prices in August, but which rapidly escalated into demonstrations against the military regime which has ruled Myanmar for decades.

Source:
Agencies
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