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5 May 2006

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will hold its 45th session from 8 to 12 May 2006 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. During its session the Working Group will examine 29 individual cases of detention in 20 countries. It will also prepare its visits to Honduras and Nicaragua later this month.

During the session, particular attention will be devoted, inter alia, to the detention of illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers; the protection of human rights in the context of the fight against terrorism; the detention of conscientious objectors; the questions of discrimination and pre-trial detention and of over-incarceration, secret prisons, deprivation of liberty of vulnerable persons and of people using the Internet..

In February 2006, the Working Group visited the Republic of Ecuador on official mission. During the session, the Working Group’s will elaborate its report on this visit. Particular attention will be also devoted to explore ways to contribute to the implementation of the Working Group’s previous recommendations.

The Working Group is composed of five independent experts appointed according to criteria governing equitable geographical distribution. It is headed by Ms. Leïla Zerrougui (Algeria) as Chairperson-Rapporteur and is composed of Soledad Villagra de Biedermann (Paraguay), Manuela Carmena Castrillo (Spain), Tamás Bán (Hungary, Vice-Chairperson), and Seyed Mohammed Hashemi (Islamic Republic of Iran)..

The Working Group was established by the Commission on Human Rights in 1991 to investigate instances of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was clarified and extended by the Commission on Human Rights in its resolution 1997/50 to cover the issue of administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants.

For more information, including previous reports of the Working Group, please consult OHCHR Fact-Sheet N° 26 or visit the following Internet address: