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Statements Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

UDHR75 in Action: End arbitrary detention

UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk calls for release of all those arbitrarily detained

04 January 2023

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk. © OHCHR

Delivered by

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk



As I marked the beginning of this new year with my family, my thoughts went to those whose loved ones are languishing in detention facilities – imprisoned for exercising their human rights. This includes people working in defence of the environment, on climate action, those calling out discrimination, those speaking up against abuses and corruption, journalists jailed for doing their essential work, and human rights defenders.

At the start of this year – the 75th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – I call on governments and all detaining authorities, globally, to amnesty, pardon or simply release all those detained for exercising their rights.

Reach into your hearts, review their cases, and make a choice to begin this year with a step in the direction of the vision of the Universal Declaration. A world in which all people live free and equal, in dignity and rights.

I call on all those in power to put the UDHR in action – and to end arbitrary detention once and for all.

The 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) will be marked on 10 December 2023. Written and adopted by representatives from all regions of the world, the UDHR makes it clear human rights are universal, indivisible, and the foundation for peace and development. During the course of the year, we will showcase the UDHR by focusing on its legacy, its transformative power and inspiring energy.

Read more about the campaign

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Jeremy Laurence +  +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

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