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UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit Malaysia

GENEVA (4 June 2010) - The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will visit Malaysia from 7 to 18 June 2010, at the invitation of the Government.

The Working Group is expected to meet with high level authorities from the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of Government to study the institutional and legal framework regarding deprivation of liberty in the country. Meetings will also be held with representatives of the Bar association, civil society members and representatives of United Nations agencies and international organizations.

The Working Group intends to visit various places of detention, including penitentiaries, prisons, immigration holding facilities, police stations, psychiatric hospitals, and a drug rehabilitation center.

The delegation will be headed by El Hadji Malick Sow (from Senegal), the Working Group’s Chairperson-Rapporteur, and will include Mr. Roberto Garretón (from Chile), as well as members of its Geneva-based Secretariat.

A press conference on the initial findings of the Working Group will be held in Kuala Lumpur at the conclusion of the visit on Friday, 18 June.

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

The former Commission on Human Rights established the five-member Working Group in 1991 to investigate allegations of arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was extended in 1997 to cover the issue of administrative custody of immigrants and asylum-seekers. The other three members are Ms. Shaheen Sardar Ali (from Pakistan); Mr. Mads Andenas (from Norway) and Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (from Ukrainia).