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UN EXPERT ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION TO VISIT MALDIVES





27 February 2009


Geneva -- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, will undertake an official visit to Maldives from 1 to 5 March 2009 at the invitation of the Government.

During his visit, the Special Rapporteur will hold meetings with state officials, representatives from journalist associations, non-governmental organizations, international agencies and other actors relating to his mandate. A press conference on the preliminary findings of the Special Rapporteur’s visit will be held in Malé on 5 March.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in which he will aim to identify practical solutions and recommendations to assist with the implementation and realization of rights related to his mandate.

Frank La Rue was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in August 2008 by the United Nations Human Rights Council. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. The UN first decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur to examine questions relevant to the right to freedom of opinion and expression in 1993. The mandate, since reviewed and extended in 2008, involves reporting annually to the Human Rights Council on issues related to freedom of opinion and expression.

For further information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/opinion/index.htm

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For use of the information media; not an official record