Geneva, 27 April 2012 – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention* will begin its 63rd session on 30 April 2012 to deliberate on 26 cases concerning 19 different countries. The Working Group will review information relating to these cases which include communications from Governments.
The 63rd session will be held in Geneva and will run from 30 April to 4 May. The members of the Working Group will hold meetings with Government delegations and civil society representatives to discuss various issues relating to deprivation of liberty. Amongst the issues of interest during the session will be the adoption of the report of the Working Group further to its mission to El Salvador in January 2012 as well as possible future country visits. Discussions will also be held on the draft deliberation on the definition and scope of arbitrary deprivation of liberty in customary international law, in light of the responses received from States and civil society organizations. Other issues to be discussed include capital punishment and arbitrary detention, detention of disabled persons, detention of conscientious objectors as well as Habeas corpus and administrative detention.
The Working Group was established by the former Commission on Human Rights in 1991 to investigate instances of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was clarified and extended by the Commission on Human Rights in its resolution 1997/50 to cover the issue of administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants. The Human Rights Council, by its resolution 15/18 adopted on 30 September 2010, confirmed the scope of the Working Group's mandate and extended it for a further three-year period.
*The Working Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. El Hadji Malick Sow (Senegal) and the Vice-Chair is Ms. Shaheen Sardar Ali (Pakistan). Other members include Mr. Mads Andenas (Norway), Mr. Roberto Garretón (Chile) and Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine).
For more information about the Working Group, please consult OHCHR Fact-Sheet N° 26 or visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx and the Working Group’s database: http://www.unwgaddatabase.org/un/.
For use of the information media; not an official record