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Myanmar: ICRC prison visits continue

05-08-2003 News Release 03/91

For four years now, the ICRC has been authorized to visit all people detained under the responsibility of Myanmar’s Ministry for Home Affairs. Accordingly, in early June it was given access to those arrested in connection with the violent events of 30 May 2003.

The visits began in three prisons in Mandalay and elsewhere in Upper Burma. They were then extended to Yangon’s Insein prison and other places of detention including, most recently, Shwebo prison near Mandalay. Detainees were registered and given the opportunity to write personal messages to their families.

    

Among those visited was Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, with whom the ICRC’s head of delegation in Yangon met privately on 28 July. As it does for all registered detainees, the ICRC will monitor her case and make periodic follow-up visits until she is released.

Family visits to detained relatives arrested after the recent violence are under way and will continue with financial support from the ICRC. In addition, the ICRC is continuing its efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of those unaccounted for by their families.

In accordance with standard ICRC procedures, all information gathered during its visits is treated confidentially, including information on conditions of detention. The organization conveys its findings and recommendations only to the authorities concerned.

The ICRC began visiting people detained in Myanmar in 1999. To date, it has made more than 230 visits in 80 places of detention and registered some 5,800 detainees.

 Further information:  

 Jean-Pascal Moret, ICRC Yangon, tel. ++951 662 613  

 Eros Bosisio, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 21 01