Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 14 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Human Rights Issues.
Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath
385. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs to raise the question on the methods of torture used in Burma’s interrogation centres and prisons since March 1998 in the United Nations and at the European Union. [4984/06]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Mr. D. Ahern: Ireland has taken a consistently strong position on Burma at the United Nations and within the European Union. Together with our EU partners we avail of all opportunities to condemn the abuse of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Burma and deplore the lack of progress towards democracy. Our goal remains an end to human rights violations, the release and restoration of liberty to Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners, and the realisation of democracy, peace and prosperity for the long-suffering people of Burma.
A recently published report, entitled The Darkness We See: Torture in Burma’s Interrogation Centres and Prisons, published by the Association of Political Prisoners in Burma last December, was funded by Development Cooperation Ireland last year via Burma Action Ireland. DCI has also funded a second and related report which is due to be published soon. Total funding of €6,620 for the two publications was provided to assist the Association of Political Prisoners in Burma to document and raise awareness of human rights violations in Burma.
I will continue to raise the issues in question on all possible occasions and to work for real pro gress in Burma. I am pleased that the UN Security Council held a briefing on the situation in Burma last December. The UN Secretary General is expected to appoint a new special representative on Burma in the near future to replace Mr. Razali Ismail who resigned at the end of last year. I hope that the new special representative and the UN special rapporteur on the situation on human rights in Burma, Mr. Sergio Pinheiro, will be allowed to visit Burma at an early date and to meet with all the key players there. I also welcome the fact that ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations, recently announced that it would send the Malaysian Foreign Minister as an envoy to Burma.
The EU applies a range of sanctions and restrictive measures against Burma, referred to as the EU common position, which are up for renewal in April 2006. In view of the absence of any progress in Burma, Ireland will be strongly supporting the renewal of the measures for a further year.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Human Rights Issues.