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The refusal of the Burmese authorities to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) independent and unsupervised access to political prisoners remains a grave concern, particularly as the number of prisoners of conscience has doubled to over 2100 since the 'Saffron revolution' in autumn 2007. We continue to urge the military government to co-operate fully with the ICRC and allow an immediate resumption of prison visits.
The UN General Assembly highlighted their concern at the condition of prisons and urged the regime to comply with human rights law in a resolution passed in November 2009. Our Ambassador in Rangoon last raised the issue of independent prison access for the ICRC to the Burmese government in August 2009 during the last visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma. Our Ambassador regularly raises the plight of political prisoners with Burmese ministers, and we remain in close contact with the ICRC on this issue.