U.N. special rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro calls Burma’s upcoming constitutional referendum a joke:

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Pinheiro said that the referendum would not have any credibility if opponents were prevented from speaking out. “How can you have a referendum without any of the basic freedoms?” he was quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying.

“It would be important to have international observers to validate the referendum, because if not it would be just a ritual without real content.”

He also said he saw no signs of political progress of any kind in the country.

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