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Thematic reports

A/HRC/51/29: 2022 Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention


21 July 2022

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In 2021, while continuously working in the exceptional circumstances of the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, under its regular procedure, adopted 85 opinions concerning the detention of 175 persons in 42 countries. It also transmitted 53 urgent appeals to 31 Governments, and in one case, to other actors, as well as 206 letters of allegation and other letters to 101 Governments and, in three cases, to other actors, concerning at least 682 identified individuals. Some States informed the Working Group of the measures taken to remedy the situations of detainees, and in multiple cases, the detainees were released.

In addition, the Working Group was pleased to be able to resume its country visits at the end of the reporting period, conducting an official visit to Maldives from 29 November to 9 December 2021.

In the report, the Working Group examines the following thematic issues: (a) secret detention; (b) arbitrary detention and the principles of effective interviewing for investigations and information - gathering; and (c) deprivation of liberty of older persons.

In its recommendations, the Working Group calls on States to refrain from any practices that may lead to de facto secret detention of individuals; to take due note of the Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering (the Méndez Principles) and to seek their effective implementation in practice; and to give particular consideration to the age of individuals when deciding upon the appropriateness of their detention. The Working Group also calls for increased cooperation from States, especially in relation to its requests for country visits, in relation to their responses to urgent appeals and regular communications, and for the implementation of its opinions.

Furthermore, the Working Group urges Member States to provide adequate and predictable human resources in order to allow it to fulfil its mandate in an effective and sustainable manner.

Issued By:

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Delivered To:

Human Rights Council, Fifty-first session