Arbitrary Detention: UN expert group launches first information-gathering visit to Hungary

GENEVA (20 September 2013) – The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will undertake its first official visit to Hungary to assess the situation of deprivation of liberty in the country from 23 September to 2 October 2013.

The group of independent experts designated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate allegations of arbitrary deprivation of liberty will visit various detention facilities, including prisons, police stations, detention centres for migrants and psychiatric institutions. In addition to Budapest, the experts will also visit cities in the counties of Békés, Csongrád and Hajdú-Bihar.

The visit will provide an opportunity to engage with the relevant authorities from the executive, legislative, judicial organs of the State as well as civil society organizations.

The delegation will consist of the Chair-Rapporteur Mr. El Hadji Malick Sow (from Senegal) and Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (from Ukraine)*. They 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 preliminary observations of the Working Group will be held at 3.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at the Art’otel in Budapest.

The final report of the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in 2014.

The former Commission on Human Rights established the Working Group in 1991 to investigate allegations of arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Its mandate was extended in 1997 to cover the issue of the administrative custody of immigrants and asylum-seekers. The Human Rights Council extended the Working Group’s mandate for a further three-year period on 30 September 2010. Learn more, visit:

(*) The other three members of the Working Group are Shaheen Sardar Ali who is the Vice-Chair (from Pakistan), Roberto Garretón (from Chile) and Mads Andenas (from Norway).

Database of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention:

For more information and media requests during the mission, please contact:
Miguel de la Lama, Secretary of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (+41 79 444 3993 /
Jolene Tautakitaki (+41 79 201 01 19 / or write to

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 /

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:

Watch “20 years of human rights - the road ahead”: