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UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit Italy

GENEVA - - The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, a group of independent experts reporting to the UN Human Rights Council, begins today an official visit to Italy. The two week visit (3 to 14 November 2008), which takes place upon an invitation from the Government, will take the delegation to Rome, Naples, Milan and Eastern Sicily (Caltanissetta, Cassibile, Pozzallo).

The purpose of the Working Group’s visit is to dialogue with the relevant authorities at the executive, judicial and local levels as well as with civil society and detainees themselves. The Working Group will visit prisons, young offender’s centres, psychiatric institutions, police and carabinieri stations, as well as immigration holding facilities.

The Working Group will study aspects of the legislation and practice of the authorities relating to detention. It will examine both laws and practices which may give rise to arbitrary detention, as well as identify any good practices which may be brought to the attention of the Human Rights Council.

A press conference on the Working Group's visit shall be held in Rome in the afternoon of 14 November 2008. The Working Group shall consider a report on the visit during its 53rd session to be held in the second half of November 2008 in Geneva.

The delegation will comprise two members of the Working Group, Mr. Roberto Garretón (from Chile) and Mr. Aslan Abashidze (from the Russian Federation), as well as members of the Working Group’s Secretariat.

Other States recently visited by the Working Group include Angola, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Norway and Ukraine.