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Press releases Special Procedures

Botswana: UN experts on arbitrary detention to conduct official visit

30 June 2022

GENEVA (30 June 2022) – The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will conduct an official visit to Botswana, from 4 to 15 July 2022, to assess the situation regarding deprivation of liberty in the country.

The delegation – comprising two members of the group, Mumba Malila and Elina Steinerte – will visit Gaborone as well as other parts of the country. They will meet Government officials, civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders during the visit.

The experts will also visit places where people are held, including prisons, police stations and institutions for juveniles, migrants and people with psychosocial disabilities, to gather information for their assessment.

The Working Group will share their preliminary observations at a press conference on 15 July 2022 at 12:15PM local time, at the Conference Room of the United Nations Building, Cnr Khama Crescent and President’s Drive. Access will be strictly limited to journalists. 

The Working Group will present its final report on the visit to the Human Rights Council in September 2023.

For media registration for the Press Conference, please contact

Mr. Nchidzi Smarts ([email protected] / +267 74217118)

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established by the former Commission on Human Rights in 1991 to investigate instances of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was clarified and extended by the Commission to cover the issue of administrative custody of asylum-seekers and immigrants. In September 2019, the Human Rights Council confirmed the scope of the Working Group's mandate and extended it for a further three-year period. The Working Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world: Ms. Miriam Estrada-Castillo (Ecuador; Chair-Rapporteur), Mr. Mumba Malila (Zambia; Vice-Chair); Ms. Elina Steinerte (Latvia); Ms. Priya Gopalan (Malaysia); and Mr. Matthew Gilllett (New Zealand).

Database of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

The Working Group is 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 Council’s 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.

UN Human Rights, Country Page — Botswana

For press inquiries related to the Working Group please contact

Ms. Lucie Viersma
([email protected]);

Ms. Loana Benjamin
([email protected]) or write to [email protected].

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact

Jeremy Laurence
([email protected]);

Renato de Souza
([email protected]) or

Dharisha Indraguptha
([email protected])

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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