U.N. envoy assesses human rights in Myanmar

.YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – A U.N. human rights envoy arrived Sunday in Myanmar on a mission to get inside the country’s prisons to determine the numbers of people killed and detained since the military regime’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the U.N.’s independent rights investigator for Myanmar, had been barred from visiting the country since November 2003. He has said he will abandon his visit unless he gets full support from the junta.

“If they don’t give me full cooperation, I’ll go to the plane, and I’ll go out,” he said recently after the government gave him a green light to visit the country for five days.

Pinheiro has submitted a proposed itinerary for his visit to the Myanmar government, which was still being “fine-tuned,” said Aye Win, a U.N. spokesman in Myanmar.

The junta has come under renewed international pressure after it crushed pro-democracy demonstrations led by Buddhist monks in September. The government says 10 people were killed in the Sept. 26-27 crackdown, though diplomats and dissidents say the death toll was much higher. Thousands were arrested, with the events triggering intense global condemnation.