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Tuesday, January 5, 1999 Published at 16:19 GMT

World: South Asia

Amnesty's return to Bhutan

Representatives of the human rights organisation, Amnesty International, have completed their first visit to Bhutan in six years to investigate allegations of human rights abuses.

The Bhutanese foreign minister, said the Amnesty team met king Jigme Singye Wangchuk, and also visited prisons and spoke to inmates during their stay.

Amnesty has yet to produce a report on the visit.

However a senior Amnesty official has already said that there was now much more openness in Bhutan.

He added though that it was necessary to strengthen freedom of expression in the country.

Bhutan has often alleged that Amnesty's reports about alleged large-scale human rights violations in the kingdom have been grossly exaggerated and one-sided.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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