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Enforced Disappearances: UN experts on official mission to Pakistan

GENEVA (5 September 2012) – The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances* will undertake its first visit to Pakistan from 10 to 20 September 2012, at the invitation of the Government.

During the mission, the UN experts will gather information on cases of enforced disappearances pending before the Working Group. They will also study the measures adopted by the State to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances.

The Working Group will visit various parts of the country and meet with State officials, both at the federal and provincial levels, as well as with representatives of civil society organizations, relatives of disappeared persons and representatives of relevant UN agencies.

The Working Group will be represented by Mr. Olivier de Frouville, the Chair-Rapporteur, and by Mr. Osman El-Hajjé, member. The independent experts will be accompanied by members of the Secretariat of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Working Group will hold a press conference at the end of the visit, on 20 September 2012, at 15.00 hours at the Marriott Hotel, in Islamabad.
A final report on the mission will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013.

The Working Group was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and whereabouts of disappeared relatives. It endeavours to establish a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the whereabouts of persons who, having disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law. In view of the Working Group's humanitarian mandate, clarification occurs when the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person are clearly established. The Working Group continues to address cases of disappearances until they are resolved. It also provides assistance in the implementation by States of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

(*) The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France) and the other members are Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina), Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mr. Osman El-Hajjé (Lebanon), and Mr. Jeremy Sarkin (South Africa).

For more information on the Working Group, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Disappearances/Pages/DisappearancesIndex.aspx

How to submit cases to the Working Group?: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/disappear/docs/Communication_form_E.doc

For more information and media requests:
Before the mission: Ugo Cedrangolo (+41 22 917 9286 / ucedrangolo@ohchr.org) or Alia El-Khatib (+41 22 9179134/ ael-khatib@ohchr.org)
Before and during the mission: Stacey Winston: (+92 (0) 300 850 2397 / stacey.winston@undp.org)