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U.N. Human Rights Investigator Doubts Burmese Government Figures on Detainees


A U.N. human rights investigator who recently returned from Burma says he believes the government there is holding more political prisoners than it admits.

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro told an audience at a U.S. university, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island that he doubts the official claim that only 93 people remain in detention following the crackdown on protesters.

Pinheiro will present the findings from his five-day fact-finding mission to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva next month.

Burmese officials say 15 people were killed and nearly three-thousand detained in the September crackdown. Diplomats and human rights groups say the figures are much higher.

Amnesty International says the arrests continue, despite Prime Minister Thein Sein's pledge to visiting U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari in early November that they would stop.

U.N. officials say Gambari will arrive in Cambodia Thursday for talks on Burma's political crisis. There has been no announcement of a meeting with Burma's prime minister, who will arrive in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh the following day.

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