HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL CONCLUDES FIFTH SPECIAL SESSION

Human Rights Council
ROUND-UP 2 October 2007


Adopts Resolution Deploring Violent Repression in Myanmar and Calling for the Release of Peaceful Protesters and All Political Detainees


The Human Rights Council concluded its fifth Special Session this afternoon after adopting a resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar in which it deplored the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations and called for the release of peaceful protesters and all other political detainees.

In the resolution, which was adopted by consensus, the Council strongly deplored the continued violent repression of peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar, including through beatings, killings and enforced disappearances, and urged the Government to exercise utmost restraint and to desist from further violence against peaceful protesters. The Council urged the Government to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, to end impunity and to investigate and bring to justice perpetrators of human rights violations, including for the recent violations of the rights of peaceful protesters. It also urged the Government to release without delay those arrested and detained as a result of the recent repression of peaceful protests, as well as to release all political detainees in Myanmar, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Council further urged Myanmar to lift all restraints on peaceful political activity of all persons by guaranteeing freedom of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of opinion and expression. It welcomed the decision of the Government to receive a visit by the Special Envoy to Myanmar of the United Nations Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari, and called upon the Government to cooperate fully with him to find a peaceful solution. It urged the Government to engage urgently in a reinvigorated national dialogue with all parties with a view to achieving genuine national reconciliation, democratization and the establishment of the rule of law. It also urged the Government of Myanmar to cooperate fully with humanitarian organizations and requested the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar to assess the current human rights situation and to monitor the implementation of this resolution, including by seeking an urgent visit to Myanmar, and to report to the resumed sixth session of the Human Rights Council.

Louise Arbour, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in an opening statement to the Special Session, said the Council should use measures commensurate to the occasion to impress on the Myanmar Government the urgent need to implement its international human rights obligations and account for past and ongoing violations.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, in his opening statement, said the international community was deeply concerned about the fate of thousands of peaceful demonstrators who had been arrested since the beginning of the protests, and the Myanmar Authorities had to immediately and unconditionally release the detainees and political prisoners. The time for mere words had passed, and decisive action was now needed.

This was the fifth Special Session convened by the Human Rights Council since its establishment in June 2006. At previous Special Sessions the Council has considered the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; the grave situation of human rights in Lebanon caused by Israeli military operations; human rights violations emanating from Israeli military incursions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the recent one in northern Gaza and the assault on Beit Hanoun; and the human rights situation in Darfur.

The second part of the sixth regular session of the Human Rights Council will be held from 1o to 14 December 2007.

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For use of information media; not an official record