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Situation of Human Rights in Burma
March 17, 2009

UN Human Rights Council Tenth Regular Session
Interactive Dialogue on the Reports of the Special Rapporteurs
on the Situation of Human Rights in Burma

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
March 17, 2009

The United States thanks Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana for his detailed and informative report. We appreciate the difficult circumstances under which he has been working. We note that his report speaks to events in 2008.

The United States commends the persistent efforts of Special Rapporteur Ojea Quintana to meet with the Burmese government and opposition leaders on his visits to the country. We remain deeply concerned about the incarceration of over 2,000 prisoners of conscience in Burma. We note that the Special Rapporteur was able to visit some prisons, including Insein, and conduct some of his requested meetings. Can the Special Rapporteur comment on what can be done to encourage the government to rapidly release all the prisoners of conscience? More broadly, how can the international community promote democratic reform and the rule of law in the country?

The United States has repeatedly stated that improvements in the government’s human rights records would be necessary for this country to have normal relations with the United States and the international community. We will continue to explore and identify concrete ways to address human rights problems, including with bilateral partners and through international organizations.

Thank you.