YANGON (AFP)--A top UN human rights envoy Thursday visited Myanmar's notorious Insein prison where he was expected to meet with political prisoners as part of his mission to probe human rights abuses by the junta.
Paulo Sergio Pinheiro entered the prison north of Yangon escorted by police officials but didn't speak to reporters waiting outside the old British-built jail.
Security appeared to have been beefed up for Pinheiro's visit, and dozens of uniformed and plainclothes officials stood guard.
The UN expert, who arrived in Myanmar on Sunday, had requested permission to meet with political detainees.
Pinheiro visited Insein jail on Monday but didn't meet with detainees.
The UN expert left Myanmar in 2003 after learning his meeting with a political prisoner in Insein had been bugged, and had not been allowed to return until this visit.
Human rights groups have called on the envoy to pressure the junta to release all political prisoners.
Amnesty International estimated that 700 people arrested over the recent protests were still in detention, although the government said only 91 of the 3, 000 originally rounded up were being held.
Opposition pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was secretly held at Insein in 2003. At the time, former political prisoner Ko Aung told the BBC the British-built facility was known as the "darkest hell-hole in Burma." Pinheiro was due to leave Myanmar later Thursday.