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UN Independent Expert to begin first official visit to Côte d'Ivoire on 14 November

14 November 2011

GENEVA – United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d'Ivoire Doudou Diène will embark upon his first official mission to the country from 14 to 25 November 2011. This is the first fact-finding mission to the country by the independent expert.

During his visit, the Independent Expert will meet high-level officials, including President Alassane Ouattara, Prime Minister Guillaume Soro and a number of other ministers, judicial officials, security officials, and heads of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Human Rights Commission. Mr. Diène will also meet civil society representatives, religious and traditional leaders and the diplomatic community.

The Independent Expert will visit detention centres in Abidjan, Korrogho, Odiénné, Bouna and Katiola. Mr Diène will also visit former President Laurent Gbagbo, who remains in detention.

“I hope to be able to see first-hand the human rights situation in the country following the difficult period it has just emerged from,” Mr. Diène said. “One of the key issues we will need to address is the fight against impunity for gross human rights violations. I look forward to accompanying the various efforts taking place on the ground towards this end.”

Mr. Diène will also participate in a workshop organized by the UN Human Rights Office in Abidjan from 15 to 18 November to strengthen the capacity of members of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Independent Expert will hold a press conference on 25 November at 15:00 at the UNOCI Headquarters in Abidjan. He is due to present a report on his findings to the Human Rights Council in March 2012.

ENDS

Doudou Diène took up his functions as UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d'Ivoire on 1 November 2011. In that capacity, he acts independently from any Government or organization. Mr. Diène was previously the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in 2002—2008.

The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the Human Rights Council resolution 17/21 adopted on 17 June 2011 for a period of one year to assist the Government and relevant actors in the follow-up of the recommendations of the International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire and of resolution 17/21 of the Human Rights Council on Côte d’Ivoire, including the recommendations addressed to the international community

OHCHR Country page – Côte d’Ivoire:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CIIndex.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact Martin Seutcheu (Tel: +41 79 752 0484 / email mseutcheu@ohchr.org ) or Guillaume Nguefa (Tel: 0620 33 32 / email: ngefa@un.org)

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