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Arbitrary Detention: UN expert group to discuss over 30 cases from 26 countries

GENEVA (13 November 2012) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention* will hold its 65th session from 14 to 23 November 2012 and will discuss over 30 cases of alleged deprivation of liberty from 26 different countries.

The Working Group also plans to meet with representatives of States and civil society organizations to discuss various issues related to its mandate. It will also focus on the adoption of its annual report for 2012 which includes a deliberation on the definition and scope of arbitrary deprivation of liberty in customary international law.

The Working Group adopted 40 Opinions during its 63rd and 64th sessions held in May and August this year. These Opinions concern various individuals from different countries.

In 2011, a total of 68 Opinions were adopted by the Working Group in relation to 105 persons in 31 countries. The Working Group also transmitted 108 urgent appeals to 45 Governments concerning 1,526 men, 99 women and 4 minors.

The session of the Working Group will be held in private at Palais des Nations in Geneva.

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 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.

(*) 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).

Learn more about the mandate and activities of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx

Check the Working Group’s cases database: http://www.unwgaddatabase.org/un/

For more information and media requests please contact Jolene Tautakitaki (wgad@ohchr.org)

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