GENEVA (25 August 2014) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention today started considering close to 30 confidential cases of alleged arbitrary deprivation of liberty concerning 17 different countries. The five-strong group of experts is meeting in Geneva for its 70th session until Friday 29 August.
Last year, the expert group adopted 60 opinions concerning the detention of 431 persons in 39 countries*. It also transmitted 110 urgent appeals to 37 Governments concerning 680 individuals.
In a number of cases, Governments and sources reported that the individuals were released and in other cases, the Working Group was assured that the detainees concerned would be guaranteed a fair trial.
During its current session, the Working Group will meet with representatives from States and civil society organizations to discuss various issues relating to deprivation of liberty.
Following the session, the experts will be convening a global stakeholders’ consultation on 1 and 2 September to further develop foundations for the draft principles and guidelines on the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty to challenge the lawfulness of detention before court.
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 2013, the UN 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. Mads Andenas (Norway) and the Vice-Chair is Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine). The other members are Mr. Sètondji Roland Jean-Baptiste Adjovi (Benin), Mr. Seong-Phil Hong (Republic of Korea) and Mr. José Guevara (Mexico). Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx