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UN hopes Myanmar to allow UN envoy’s access

21 Dec,2017

 

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

The United Nations has expressed the hope that the government of Myanmar will revise its decision, allow access to UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee and cooperate with her.

“Special Rapporteurs, as you know, are independent…but we do hope to see the decision reversed,” said StephaneDujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary General.

The government of Myanmar has informed UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee that all access to the country has been denied and cooperation withdrawn for the duration of her tenure.

“I think it's regrettable. We feel that all the countries should cooperate with the human rights mechanisms,” said the Spokesperson in the UN headquarters on Wednesday.

Lee was supposed to visit Myanmar in January to assess the state of human rights countrywide, including the human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

“It’s a shame that Myanmar has decided to take this route,” said Lee earlier, adding that the Myanmar government has repeatedly denied violations of human rights are occurring throughout Myanmar, particularly in Rakhine.

They have said that they have nothing to hide, but their lack of cooperation with her mandate and the fact-finding mission suggests otherwise, said the expert.

“I’m puzzled and disappointed by this decision by the Myanmar government,” Lee was quoted as saying in a statement UNB obtained from Geneva on Wednesday.

“This declaration of non-cooperation with my mandate can only be viewed as a strong indication that there must be something terribly awful happening in Rakhine, as well as in the rest of the country," she said.

The Special Rapporteur said she sincerely hoped Myanmar would revisit the decision.

“Only two weeks ago, Myanmar’s Permanent Representative informed the Human Rights Council of its continuing cooperation with the UN, referencing the relationship with my role as Special Rapporteur,” she said.

“Now I’m being told that this decision to no longer cooperate with me is based on the statement I made after I visited the country in July.”

Lee had previously been extended cooperation and access to Myanmar, and had maintained a relationship of mutual respect with the government.

The government has now claimed that her end-of-mission statement in July was biased and unfair.

The Special Rapporteur’s mandate requires two visits to Myanmar a year in order to report to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.

Since taking up the mandate in June 2014, she has visited six times.


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