UN for follow-up visit to Malta on arbitrary detention

United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will visit Malta from 23 to 25 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, and engage 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 present a follow-up report to the Human Rights Council.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention last carried a five-day mission in 2009, raising serious concerns about the detention of irregular migrants arriving by sea.

“We consider that the detention regime applied to them is not in line with international human rights law,” Manuela Carmena, the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group had said.  “We have met an 8-year old boy, who should not be detained at all, and a Somali man, suffering from HIV and chicken pox, vegetating in a cell in compelte isolation, who should rather be in a hospital,” she added.

It is the policy of the Maltese government to detain all immigrants arriving to the country. Asylum seekers are detained for up to 12 months, and irregular migrants up to 18 months.

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