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Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions to visit the United States

13 June 2008

GENEVA-- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Philip Alston, will undertake a country visit to the United States of America from 16 to 30 June 2008 at the invitation of the U.S. Government.

The Special Rapporteur will visit the cities of Washington, New York, Montgomery and Austin. His responsibilities include reporting on alleged extrajudicial executions and the underlying causes that might have prevented effective legal action to prosecute and punish those responsible.

Mr. Alston is scheduled to hold meetings with Government officials at both the federal and state levels and with members of the legislative and judiciary branches. His visit will also include meetings with human rights NGOs, academics and other members of civil society.

Based on the information obtained during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations to a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council.

NOTE: At the end of his country visit to the US the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions will hold a press conference on 30 June 2008 at 11.00 am at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Mr.Alston was appointed Special Rapporteur in 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 summary or arbitrary executions in 1982. The mandate, since assumed under the UN Human Rights Council, covers all countries. Mr. Alston has extensive experience in the human rights field, including eight years as Chairperson of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, principal legal adviser to UNICEF in the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He is Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law.For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, please visit the website: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/executions/index.htm