Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

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The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is a UN-mandated body of independent human rights experts that investigates cases of arbitrary arrest and detention that may be in violation of international human rights law.

It was established in 1991 by the former Commission on Human Rights as one of the "Special Procedures" created to monitor human rights violations, and is currently under the purview of the UN Human Rights Council. In September 2013, its mandate was extended by the Council for another three years.

After verifying information from a variety of sources, including non-governmental organisations, inter-governmental agencies and victims' families, the Working Group issues opinions on the compliance with international law and sends urgent appeals to governments to ascertain the whereabouts and condition of those allegedly detained. It can also conduct fact-finding visits to countries that have extended an invitation to the Working Group.


The current members of the Working Group are:

Name Country Term
Mads Andenas (Chair)  Norway 2009-2015
Shaheen Sardar Ali (Vice Chair)  Pakistan 2008-2013
Roberto Garretón  Chile 2008-2013
Malick El Hadji Sow  Senegal 2008-2013
Vladimir Tochilovsky  Ukraine 2010-2016

Former members include:

Name Country
Aslan Abashidze  Russian Federation
Tamás Bán  Hungary
Manuela Carmena Castrillo  Spain
Seyyed Mohammad Hashemi  Iran
Laity Kama  Senegal
Louis Joinet  France
Kapil Sibal  India
Petr Uhl  Czech Republic
Soledad Villagra de Biedermann  Paraguay
Leila Zerrougui  Algeria

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