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Torture: UN expert in fact-finding mission to Papua New Guinea

GENEVA (12 May 2010) —The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, will undertake a fact-finding mission to Papua New Guinea from 14-25 May, in what will be the first visit to the country by a UN Human Rights envoy since 1995.

“The aim of the mission is to evaluate in person, in an objective and impartial manner, the situation regarding torture and ill-treatment, and to initiate a process of constructive cooperation with the authorities,” said the Special Rapporteur, who will visit Papua New Guinea at the invitation of the Government.

In order to gather first-hand information, Mr. Nowak will meet with State officials, civil society members and representatives of United Nations agencies and international organizations. He will also visit places where persons are deprived of their liberty.

A press conference will be held in Port Moresby at the conclusion of the visit at 1300h on Tuesday, 25 May, in the UN Conference Room, Level 14, Deloitte Tower, Douglas Street, Port Moresby.

A final report on the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in 2011.

Manfred Nowak, appointed Special Rapporteur on 1 December 2004 by the UN Commission on Human Rights and renewed by the Human Rights Council, is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. He has previously served as member of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, the UN expert on missing persons in the former Yugoslavia, the UN expert on legal questions on enforced disappearances, and as a judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nowak is Professor of Constitutional Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna, and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.