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UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON TORTURE TO CONDUCT VISIT TO KAZAKHSTAN


28 April 2009

GENEVA.-. The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, will undertake a visit to Kazakhstan from 5 to 14 May 2009, at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In order to gather first-hand information in relation to the mandate, Mr. Nowak will meet with Government officials, national human rights institutions, civil society members and representatives of United Nations agencies and international organizations. He will also visit places where persons are deprived of their liberty.

At the end of the mission, following a briefing with Kazakhstani officials, the independent expert will hold a press conference to share his preliminary findings with representatives of the media. Based on the information obtained during the visit, he will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations to the Human Rights Council.

Mr. Nowak was appointed Special Rapporteur on 1 December 2004 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. The Commission first decided to appoint a special rapporteur to examine questions relevant to torture in 1985. The mandate, since assumed under the UN Human Rights Council, covers all countries, whether or not they have ratified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Mr. Nowak has previously served as member of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances; the UN expert on missing persons in the formerYugoslavia; the UN expert on legal questions on enforced disappearances; and as a judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna, and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights. This will be his 15th country visit. For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, please visit the website: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/torture/rapporteur/index.htm

For more information call +41-22-9179704

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For use of the information media; not an official record