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Arbitrary Detention: UN expert group launches first official visit to Azerbaijan


GENEVA / BAKU (12 May 2016) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will conduct its first official visit to Azerbaijan to assess the situation of deprivation of liberty in the country from 16 to 25 May.

During the ten-day mission, human rights experts Sètondji Roland Adjovi and José Guevara –Chair and Vice Chair of the Working Group respectively– will visit the cities of Baku, Ganja and Nakhchivan, where they will engage with the authorities, civil society and other stakeholders.

The expert group’s delegation will also visit detention facilities, including prisons, police stations, mental health institutions, to meet with persons deprived of their liberty, including children, their families or representatives, and to seek first-hand information on their cases.

The experts will be accompanied by staff from the Working Group’s Secretariat at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

A press conference on the Working Group’s preliminary observations will be held at the UN House, Baku, on 25 May 2016 at 15:00. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Working Group will present its final report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017.

The Working Group is comprised of five independent expert members from various regions of the world, namely: Mr. Sètondji Roland Adjovi (Benin), Chair-Rapporteur; Mr. José Guevara (Mexico), Vice-Chair on Communications; Ms. Leigh Toomey (Australia), Vice-Chair on Follow-Up; Mr. Seong-Phil Hong (Republic of Korea) and Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine).
The expert group was established by the Commission on Human Rights in 1991 to investigate instances of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was clarified and extended by the Commission in 1997 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. 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. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Azerbaijan:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/AZIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
During the visit:  Ruslan Ismayil-zada ( ruslan.ismayilzada@undp.org)
Before and after the visit: Audrey Rinaldi (+41 22 917 92 25) and Margarita Nechaeva (+ 41 22 928 94 62) 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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