Friday, January 18, 2013

Red Cross to resume prison visits in Burma


Friday, 18 January 2013 12:10 Mizzima News

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Thursday it will resume visits to detainees in Burma’s prisons next week after a hiatus of more than seven years, according to The Associated Press (AP).

Red Cross staff conduct a private interview with a detainee in Insein Prison. (PHOTO: ICRC)

The announcement comes following a meeting in Naypyitaw on Monday between ICRC President Peter Maurer and Burma’s President Thein Sein.

Maurer’s was the first ever visit to Burma by a Red Cross President. The ICRC has been prevented from visiting inmates in Burma since December 2005.

Prior to suspending its work in Burma, the ICRC regularly met detainees in jails and labor camps across the country. It reported on conditions while performing health checks and treatment, and provided prisoners with soap and medicines.

According to AP, Maurer praised the Burmese government's move to allow unfettered prison access again, welcoming the "positive attitude" of those who made it happen.

"We want to see all prisoners indiscriminately, and we want to be able to return to prison," he told reporters, adding that he expected that to happen next week.
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