08 Jan UN envoy meets with six political prisoners

Written by Hein Ko Soe Published in Myanmar Read 2423 times
Yanghee-Lee-meets-with-lawyers-and-civil-society-activists
UN envoy Ms Yanghee Lee (C) meets with Myanmar lawyers in Yangon on January 7, 2015.  Photo: UNIC, Yangon

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Ms Yanghee Lee met with six political prisoners in Insein Prison for about two hours today, U Aye Win from UN Information Center in Myanmar told Mizzima on January 7.

This is Ms Lee’s second official visit to Myanmar to observe the human rights situation in the country.

After meeting with the political prisoners in Insein Prison, Ms Lee met with U Ye Aung, U Ko Ko Gyi and U Thura aka Zarganar, who were former members of the committee tasked with looking into the remaining prisoners of conscience, at the UN office in Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township in Yangon from just over an hour.

U Ye Aung, a representative of the Former Political Prisoners Society said: “In our prisons, the number of prisoners exceeds the prison’s capacity. While the current situation in the prisons appears to have improved over the situation in 1988 and 1990, as soon as UN officials like Ms Lee leave Myanmar, the situation returns to its former [bad] condition.”

U Ye Aung said Ms Lee met him and other members of the former government-sanctioned committee that used to look into the situation of remaining prisoners of conscience still incarcerated.

“She asked us how many political prisoners there are in Myanmar. But she didn’t ask other questions such us why the country still has political prisoners. We did not talk about that,” he said.

He said that they told Ms Lee that Myanmar still has 82 political prisoners and about 200 activists facing trial.

During her visit from January 7 to 16, the UN Special Rapporteur will meet the Chief Minister of Rakhine State to discuss current developments toward peace, stability and the rule of law, and she will observe the human rights situation in northern Shan State, according to a UN statement.

Last modified on Thursday, 08 January 2015 17:52