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India: first official mission by UN rapporteur on summary or arbitrary executions

GENEVA (16 March 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns will visit India from 19 to 30 March 2012, in what will be the first fact-finding mission to the country by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to examine situations of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“My upcoming mission represents a unique opportunity to assess the situation of extrajudicial executions in India, and the efforts undertaken to prevent them and ensure accountability in such cases,” he said. “It shall give me the opportunity to gather lessons learned in relation to matters concerning my mandate.” The Special Rapporteur will also examine the legislative framework applied in India vis-a-vis the issues encompassed by his mandate.

On the basis of his analysis, Mr. Heyns will make recommendations to assist the country in exploring avenues to strengthen the protection of the right to life.

During his twelve-day mission, the expert will visit New Delhi and a number of States to meet with several high-ranking officials at Union and State levels, as well as various academics, international and local non-governmental organizations and UN agencies.

Mr. Heyns will hold a press conference on Friday, 30 March, at 3:30 pm, at the UN Conference Hall (55 Lodi Estate, New Delhi), where he will share his preliminary comments and recommendations. His report on the visit will be presented in a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.

ENDS

The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns (South Africa), is a director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria, where he has also directed the Centre for Human Rights, and has engaged in wide-reaching initiatives on human rights in Africa. He has advised a number of international, regional and national entities on human rights issues. Mr. Heyns’ research interests include international human rights law and human rights law in Africa. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Executions/Pages/SRExecutionsIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights Country Page – India: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/INIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva: UN Human Rights (+4122 917 9715 / eje@ohchr.org)
In Delhi: United Nations Information Centre (+91 11 4653 2242 / unicindia@unicindia.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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