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UN rights panel condemns Myanmar crackdown

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly Third Committee Tuesday passed a draft resolution [press release] condemning the recent crackdown against political dissidents in Myanmar, calling on the country's military government to release all political prisoners and to cooperate with UN special envoy to Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari [official profile]. The resolution passed 88-24, with 66 abstentions, and now goes to the General Assembly itself. Myanmar's UN Ambassador U Kyaw Tint Swe criticized the resolution as an attempt to meddle in Myanmar's internal affairs and said it could hinder the country's efforts toward democracy. AP has more.

Gambari visited Myanmar [JURIST report] last month and returned in November to continue efforts to encourage the country's military junta to move toward democratization and reconciliation in the wake of the government crackdown against protesters which began in August. The crackdown started when Myanmar [JURIST news archive] security officers arrested hundreds of Buddhist monks demonstrating against rising fuel prices and human rights abuses by the military regime. Protests only subsided when junta troops effectively locked down Myanmar's major cities. At least 10 people were killed when government soldiers shot into protesting crowds [JURIST report] and the government has said that some 3,000 people were arrested for participating in the protests.

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