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Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders to visit the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


Geneva, 14 September 2007: The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Ms Hina Jilani, will visit the Republic of Serbia, including Kosovo, from 17 to 21 September 2007. On 24 and 25 September, she will continue her visit to the region by making a follow up mission to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that she visited in January 2003.

The purpose of the visit is to assess the situation of human rights defenders, and to examine the legal framework as well as the environment in which defenders operate. After the visit, reports containing the Special Representative's findings and recommendations will be published and presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The Special Representative is scheduled to meet, among others, Governments’ representatives, members of the judiciary, Parliamentarians, the national human rights institutions, the international community, and human rights defenders, including representatives of civil society organizations and journalists.

The Special Representative is scheduled to visit Belgrade, Pristina and Skopje. Ms. Jilani will give a press conference in Belgrade on 19 September and in Skopje on 25 September 2007, at which she will present her preliminary findings.

Ms. Jilani, an advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, was appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General in August 2000.

For more information about the mandate of the Special Representative and copies of available reports, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:
http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/defenders/index.htm