Burmese Government Establishes First Human Rights Commission

Posted September 6th, 2011 at 3:55 am (UTC-5)
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Burma's state media say the government has established its first national human rights commission.

In a brief announcement Tuesday, the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the 15-member commission will be charged with promoting and safeguarding fundamental rights of citizens under the country's 2008 constitution.

The panel is made up of diplomats, academics and former government officials, all of them retired.

The announcement follows a visit last month by United Nations human rights envoy Tomas Quintana, who was for the first time permitted to visit prisoners at the notorious Insein Prison and talk to pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

However the government continues to hold more than 2,000 political prisoners in custody. Burma faces harsh international sanctions due to its decades of political repression.