UN envoy "disturbed" by Myanmar arrest in visit

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BANGKOK, Nov 14 (Reuters) UN human rights envoy Sergio Paulo Pinheiro was disturbed by Myanmar's arrest of prominent labour activist Su Su Nway as he met junta officials, a UN official said today.

Pinheiro, visiting the former Burma to get to the bottom of the regime's bloody crackdown on democracy protests in September, was expected to raise her arrest in meetings with government officials on Thursday.

''He was disturbed by the fact that the arrest had been done,'' Charles Petrie, the top UN diplomat in Myanmar, told Reuters.

''He still has some meetings with authorities and Professor Pinheiro is pretty straightforward and frank, so I would expect him to raise that and other issues,'' he said.

Su Su Nway, 34, was detained on Tuesday as she put up anti-junta leaflets near the Yangon hotel where Pinheiro was staying before he flew to the jungle capital, Naypyidaw.

She had joined street protests against shock fuel price rises in August and September, but went into hiding when soldiers crushed the biggest anti-junta demonstrations in nearly 20 years.

It is not known where Su Su Nway is being held.

Pinheiro, a Brazilian law professor allowed into Myanmar for the first time in four years, has visited Yangon's notorious Insein prison and other places where September marchers were interrogated.

Pinheiro was told he would be allowed to interview detainees before he flies out on Thursday night.

''He still hasn't finished his trip and he has asked for meetings with others,'' Petrie said.

Official media say all but 91 of the nearly 3,000 arrested were released after questioning. The official death toll has been put at 10, but Western governments say the real number is probably far higher.

REUTERS ARB KN1725

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