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17 May 2006

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is visiting Nicaragua since 15 May 2006 and until 23 May 2006. The Pannel is visiting Managua and will travel to Esteli and Bluefields, in the Atlantic Coast. On Tuesday 16 May 2006, it visited the National Penitentiary in Tipitapa, where it held interviews with more than 100 detainees. The Working Group also visited in Tipitapa the detention centre for juvenile offenders.

The Working Group has already held meetings with authorities from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Court of Justice, the National Penitentiary System, as well as with judges and magistrates of different levels, representatives of United Nations´s Agencies and non governmental organizations.

During the forthcoming days, the Working Group will visit the Immigration Detention Centre of Managua, the Esteli Prison, La Esperanza Managua Women's Prison, the Bluefields Prison and police stations. Meetings with representatives of the Attorney'General Office´s, the Public Defenders System, and the Human Rights Prosecutor Office have also been scheduled.

The Working Group is represented by one of its members, Manuela Carmena Castrillo (Spain).

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established by the Commission on Human Rights in 1991. Its mandate was extended in 1997 and renewed in 2003. It has already visited Argentina, Belarus, Bahrain, Buthan, Canada, the People´s Republic of China, Ecuador, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Latvia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru and South Africa. It has also visited Australia, Rumania and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in connection with the administrative detention of asylum seekers, illegal arrivals and immigrants.

For more information on the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention please consult http www.ohchr.org