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Arbitrary Detention: UN expert panel launches first mission to Georgia

GENEVA / TBILISI (14 June 2011) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will undertake its first official visit to Georgia from 15 to 24 June 2011, to assess the institutional and legal framework regarding deprivation of liberty in the country.

During its ten-day mission, the panel of independent experts will visit various places of detention including penitentiaries, prisons, detention facilities for women and juveniles, police stations and psychiatric institutions in the cities of Tbilisi, Rustavi, Kutaisi and Batumi.

The Working Group’s visit will provide a platform for dialogue with relevant authorities at the executive, judicial and local levels as well as with civil society organizations.

The delegation will be headed by Mr. El Hadji Malick Sow, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group (from Senegal), Mr. Roberto Garretón (from Chile), Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (from Ukraine)*, and members of the Working Group’s Secretariat.

A press conference on the preliminary findings of the Working Group will be held on Friday, 24 June 2011, at the United Nations House, 9 Eristavi Street, Tbilisi. The final report of the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in 2012.

The former Commission on Human Rights established the Working Group in 1991 to investigate allegations of arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was extended in 1997 to cover the issue of the administrative custody of immigrants and asylum-seekers. The Human Rights Council extended the Working Group’s mandate for a further three-year period by resolution 15/18 on 30 September 2010.

(*) The other two members of the Working Group are Shaheen Sardar Ali who is the Vice-Chair (from Pakistan) and Mads Andenas (from Norway).

Learn more on the mandate and activities of the Working Group at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/detention/index.htm

For more information and media requests, please contact Mr. Miguel de la Lama, Secretary of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (Tel.+41 79 444 7152/ email: mdelalama@ohchr.org or Jolene Tautakitaki Tel:+41 79 444 4702/ jtautakitaki@ohchr.org).

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