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UN Special Rapporteur on torture to visit Ukraine

GENEVA (24 May 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment will visit Ukraine to assess the situation and developments related to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment in the country.

The Special Rapporteur, Nils Melzer, will visit the country from 28 May to 8 June 2018, at the invitation of the Government.
“I look forward to engaging with the Ukrainian Government on challenges arising with a view to preventing torture and ill-treatment, promoting accountability for violations, and fulfilling victims' right to redress, in particular in the larger context of the crisis which broke out in early 2014,” said the independent expert. 

During the 12-day visit, Melzer will meet relevant authorities and human rights institutions, as well as civil society organisations, victims of torture and their families. The special rapporteur will also conduct visits to places of detention such as police stations, pre-trial facilities and prisons. In eastern Ukraine, Melzer will visit cities under the control of armed groups.

Melzer will present his final report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2019.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on 8 June 2018 at 1400, at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Centre, Ukrainian house, 2 Khreshchatyk Street (European Square), Kyiv, Ukraine. Please note that access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists. 

ENDS

Mr. Nils Melzer (Switzerland) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in November 2016. Mr. Melzer has previously worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and is currently the Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
 
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Councils independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
 
For inquiries and media requests, please contact:
Ms. Alia El Khatib  (+41 22 917 9209 / aelkhatib@ohchr.org), or Ms. Krystel Abi Habib (Ms. +417229179042 / kabihabib@ohchr.org), or write to sr-torture@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversaryof the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration translated into a world record 500 languages is rooted in the principle that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rightswww.standup4humanrights.org.