Special rapporteur barred from Laiza, Hpakant

Just a few days into her fifth visit and the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has already encountered a few bumps in the road, with the government blocking her from going to Laiza and Hpakant, in Kachin State. Yanghee Lee and her envoy were not allowed to travel to the conflict-riddled areas of the state due to “security reasons”, UN Information Centre in Yangon spokesperson U Aye Win confirmed on January 10 before declining to comment further. The rights investigator is on a 12-day tour of the country, with further stops expected to include Sittwe, Rathedaung, Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships in Rakhine State, in addition to meetings in Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon. Ms Lee arrived in Yangon on January 9. In a statement released on January 6, the UN said Ms Lee had scheduled to visit Myitkyina, Hpakant and Laiza in Kachin State.

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