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Joint visit of the United Nations and African Union Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights defenders to Togo, 28 July- 4 August 2008



The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mrs. Margaret Sekaggya, will visit the Republic of Togo from 28 July to 4 August 2008 at the invitation of the Government. She will be accompanied by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Mrs. Reine Alapini-Gansou.

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 they function for the protection and promotion of human rights. After the visit, a report containing the United Nations Special Rapporteur’s findings and recommendations will be published and presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The Special Rapporteurs are scheduled to meet, among other Togolese officials, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs; the Minister of Justice; the Minister for Security and Civil Protection; the Prosecuting Attorney; members of the Ministry of Human Rights and Consolidation of Democracy; the Director of the Prison Administration; members of the High Authority for Audiovisual and Communication; members of the National Human Rights Commission; members of the Human Rights Commission of the National Assembly; and members of the Bar Association.

They will also meet with a wide ranging segment of civil society and the press, with representatives of the United Nations and State delegations. The Special Rapporteurs are scheduled to visit Lomé and Kara where they have also requested to meet with relevant actors within the local authorities and civil society. The Special Rapporteurs will give a press conference in Lomé at the end of the mission on 4 August 2008, at which they will present her preliminary findings.

Mrs. Sekaggya, a magistrate from Uganda, was appointed Special Rapporteur by the Human Rights Council in March 2008. She took up her new functions on 1 May.

Mrs. Alapini-Gansou, a lawyer from Benin, was appointed Special Rapporteur by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in December 2005.

For more information about the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/defenders/index.htm

For more information about the mandate of the African Union Special Rapporteur, please consult the website of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights:
http://www.achpr.org/english/_info/index_hrd_en.html