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Arbitrary Detention: UN expert group to undertake follow-up visit to Malta

GENEVA (18 June 2015) – A delegation of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will visit Malta from 23 to 25 June 2015 to follow up on its  2009 recommendations*, while continue its engagement with the Maltese  Government in addressing issues of detention and deprivation of liberty in the country.

During the three-day mission, human rights experts Sètondji Roland Adjovi (from Benin), and Mr. Mads Andenas (from Norway), will also assess the steps needed to achieve full compliance with the recommendations made by the expert group six years ago.

The independent experts, who visit the country at the invitation of the Government, will be accompanied by two staff members from the Working Group’s Secretariat at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The delegation will meet with authorities of different Branches of the State and representatives of civil society. It will also visit prisons and detention centres.

The Working Group will share with the media its preliminary observations at a press conference to be held at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Malta, on 25 June at 4:30 p.m.

The Working Group will present a follow-up report to the Human Rights Council.

(*) Check the Working Group’s 2009 report on its visit to Malta (A/HRC/13/30/Add.2): http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G10/103/03/PDF/G1010303.pdf?OpenElement

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 2013, 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. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Seong-Phil Hong (the Republic of Korea); the Vice Chair-Rapporteurs are Mr. José Guevara (Mexico) and Mr. Sètondji Roland Adjovi (Benin). Other members include Mr. Mads Andenas (Norway) and Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx

Check the Database of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: http://www.unwgaddatabase.org/un/

The Working Groups 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 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 – Malta: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/MTIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact: Ms. Yiyao Zhang (+ 41 22 917 9634 / +41 769 444 3707 / yzhang@ohchr.org) and Mr. Miguel de la Lama (+41 22 917 9289 / +41 79 444 4917 / mdelalama@ohchr.org) or write to  wgad@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en