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Arbitrary Detention: UN expert panel to discuss over 30 cases from 21 countries

GENEVA (24 August 2012) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention* will begin its 64th session on Monday 27 August to deliberate on 31 cases concerning 21 different countries. It will also review information relating to these cases which include communications from States.

During the session, to be held in Geneva from 27 to 31 August, the Working Group will meet with representatives from States and civil society organizations to discuss various issues relating to deprivation of liberty. It will also continue to discuss 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.

Last year, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted 68 Opinions concerning 105 persons in 31 States. It also transmitted 108 urgent appeals to 45 Governments concerning 1,526 men, 99 women and 4 minors. Governments and sources reported that 21 persons were released.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention 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 to cover the issue of administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants. In 2010, the Human Rights Council confirmed the scope of the Working Group's mandate and extended it for a further three-year period. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx

(*) 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 and media requests please contact Ms. Jolene Tautakitaki (Tel.: +41 22 917 9363 / email: jtautakitaki@ohchr.org) or write to wgad@ohchr.org

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

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