Nov 6, 2007 (AP), The United Nations independent investigator on human rights in Burma, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, said on Tuesday he has been invited for a visit next week by the country’s military authorities.
Pinheiro, who has been barred by the junta from visiting since 2003, said in a statement he "welcomes" the invitation to visit from 11 to 15 November.
The statement, issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, said Pinheiro noted that the invitation "sends a positive indication of the desire of the authorities to cooperate with his mandate" to investigate human rights in Burma.
After getting initial permission last month for the visit, Pinheiro said he would demand access to prisons and try to determine the number of people killed and detained by the military government in September’s crackdown on peaceful protesters.
"If they don’t give me full cooperation, I’ll go to the plane, and I’ll go out," Pinheiro said.
The military stamped out the peaceful demonstrations by opening fire on the protesters. The government said 10 people were killed, but diplomats and dissidents said the death toll was much higher. Thousands of people were detained.
The UN announced on 22 October that Burma’s government had agreed to a visit by Pinheiro, who is an independent human rights investigator