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OIC Rights Panel Won't State Budget, Will Go to Myanmar, But With Free Access?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 14 -- The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has set up an 18 member Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission. Spokesman Rizwan Sheikh and chairperson Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin held a press conference in the UN on Friday to talk about its work, in advance.

Inner City Press began by thanking them, on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access or FUNCA, then asked about the Rohingya in Myanmar, and the Commission's budget. Video here, from Minute 18:40.

It was Rizwan Sheikh, who previously spoke about the attack on the US facility in Benghazi, who responded to both questions. He began, "Let me take the second question first, the budget would be..." Then no monetary figure was provided. He said, "it's a main statutory body of the OIC, in Article 15 of the charter... they determine it themselves."

He said of the 18 Commissioners, they are "not regular employees," they get "no salary or honoraria" and will only be paid "when attending sessions or on certain missions."

And one of these missions will be to the Rohingyas in Myanmar, he said: "The Commission was mandated by Council of foreign ministers in their last session in Djibouti to advice on the human rights aspect." Will they do more than the UN to date has? Will they have free movement inside Myanmar? The Free UN Coalition on Access wants to know. Watch this site.

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