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UN Expert Outlines Steps for Improving Human Rights in Burma

The United Nations human rights envoy for Burma is calling on that country's government to substantially improve human rights before the 2010 elections.

In a report Wednesday, envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana said that if the elections take place in an atmosphere in which human rights are fully respected, the vote will be seen as credible.

He outlined a series of measures that Burma should take, including amending laws that limit fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression, opinion and peaceful assembly.

The U.N. envoy said political prisoners should be released. He said such a move would inspire political participation in the upcoming elections.

The envoy also suggested a number of changes for Burma's judiciary, including guaranteeing due process and setting up mechanisms to investigate human rights abuses.