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Statement by Ambassador Tichenor on Report of Human Rights in Burma
March 23, 2007

Statement by U.S. Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma

Human Rights Council

The United States recognizes the extraordinary work of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma/Myanmar, and would congratulate Mr. Pinheiro for his efforts in view of Burma’s refusal to cooperate. As we receive his report, Burma remains one of the most repressive countries in the world, and the situation is deteriorating.

The Burmese regime’s disregard for accountability and transparency was made strikingly clear when the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was forced to halt most of its activities over a year ago. Continued restrictions by the regime recently forced it to close two of its field offices. The United States calls on the regime to lift restrictions on the ICRC, other UN and international agencies, and NGOs providing humanitarian relief.

The United States is pleased that the regime released some political prisoners, but we note Burma still holds more than 1,100 of them, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They should be released immediately and unconditionally. Only by releasing all political prisoners, ending military attacks on ethnic minorities, and initiating a credible, inclusive political dialogue with representatives of all the Burmese people will the government be able to put the country on a genuine path towards national reconciliation.

Thank you, Mr. President.