Page last updated at 18:06 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

Burma and N Korea slam UN reports

UN special envoy to Burma Tomas Quintana at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Monday, March 15, 2010
Mr Quintana says violations in Burma may involve crimes against humanity

Burma and North Korea have rejected UN condemnation of human rights abuses at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Recommendations by the UN special envoy to Burma "violated the right of a sovereign state", Burma's UN envoy told the UN Human Rights Council.

He said that the report from Tomas Quintana contained allegations based on "unverifiable sources".

North Korea's UN envoy "categorically" rejected the UN report describing the country as "one big prison".

Political prisoners

UN special envoy Tomas Quintana, who visited Burma last month has recommended a UN inquiry into whether war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed there.

Mr Quintana told the UN Human Rights Council that elections due this year could not be credible, because the military rulers had failed to remedy human rights abuses.

These included the recruitment of child soldiers and the jailing of more than 2,000 prisoners of conscience.

Burma vociferously rejected the report, saying it referred to issues that fell outside Mr Quintana's mandate and contained "unfounded allegations", Burma's UN envoy Wunna Maung Lwin was quoted as saying by AFP.

Meanwhile, the UN special envoy to North Korea Vitit Muntarbhorn has told the BBC that North Korea's human rights' record is in a category of its own.

"The type of surveillance system imposed on people, food deprivation, all these give rise to an array of violations and violence which puts it in its own category," he told the BBC's PM programme.

The UN report was inspired by a Western conspiracy to "eliminate the state and social system" in North Korea, the country's UN envoy Choe Myong Nam was quoted as saying by AFP.

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