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06 October 2006

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a panel of independent experts reporting to the United Nations Human Rights Council, will visit Turkey from 9 to 20 October 2006.

The visit, which takes place upon an invitation from the Government, will take the Working Group to Ankara, Diyarbakir, Istanbul and Izmir. The delegation will be led by the Working Group’s Chairperson-Rapporteur, Leïla Zerrougui, a judge and law professor from Algeria, and will also include Ms. Manuela Carmena, a Spanish judge, as well as members of the Working Group’s Secretariat.

In each of the cities visited, the delegation will meet with representatives of the executive and legislative powers, as well as with judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers, police commanders and authorities of the correctional system. The delegation will visit not only prisons, police stations, remand detention facilities and penitentiaries, but also institutions where people may be held against their will outside the criminal justice system: mental health institutions; orphanages, and immigration holding facilities. In all the detention centres, the experts will conduct interviews with the detainees in private and without witnesses. The delegation will further meet with non-governmental human rights organizations and other civil society groups.

Following the visit, the experts will submit a report on their findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council.

In 2006 the Working Group has visited Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua. In 2005 it paid visits to Canada and South Africa. The panel presented its last report to the Human Rights Council on 20 September 2006 (E/CN.4/2006/7 and Addenda 1 to 3).

For further information on the Working Group’s mandate, please consult Fact Sheet N° 26: The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ( http://www.ohchr.org/english/about/publications/docs/fs26.htm)

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