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UK: first mission to the country by UN expert on freedoms of peaceful assembly and association

GENEVA / LONDON (10 January 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai will visit the United Kingdom from 14 to 23 January 2013, in what will be the first information-gathering mission to the country by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and promote the realization of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association worldwide.

“The United Kingdom has voiced its commitment to human rights on repeated occasions, and this mission will give me an opportunity to assess in-depth to what extend the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are enjoyed in the country,” Mr. Kiai said.

The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government, is scheduled to travel to London, Belfast and Edinburgh, where he will meet with officials, representatives of the judiciary, legislature, various human rights commissions, and civil society.

The UN Human Rights Council recognized the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association as essential components of democracy, and called on States to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely.

Mr. Kiai will share his preliminary findings and recommendations at a press conference to be held on Wednesday 23 January, at the premises of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Strand Bridge House, 138-142 Strand, 1st Floor London, WC2R 1HH), from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Please contact Ms. Margaret Nyokabi Mbuthia: 020 7759 8101.

A final report on the visit will be presented by the Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council during its 23rd session (27 May to 14 June 2013).

Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya) took up his functions as the first Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association on May 2011. Mr. Kiai has been Executive Director of the International Council on Human Rights Policy; Chair of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission; Africa Director of the International Human Rights Law Group; and Africa Director of Amnesty International. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any Government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/AssemblyAssociation/Pages/SRFreedomAssemblyAssociationIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/GBIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Mr. Guillaume Pfeifflé (+41 79 444 4506 / gpfeiffle@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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