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UNITED NATIONS INDEPENDENT EXPERT TO UNDERTAKE FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO MALI TO ASSESS HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

18 October 2013

GENEVA (18 October 2013) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali, Suliman Baldo, will undertake his first official mission to the country from 21 October to 3 November 2013.

This is the first country visit by an independent expert charged by the United Nations Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the human rights situation in Mali, and to identify areas of technical assistance and capacity building that will help the country to fulfill its human rights obligations.

During his 14-day visit, the Independent Expert will meet high-level officials, including members of the government appointed following the presidential elections of July/August 2013, judicial officials, security officials, and heads of the Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission and the National Human Rights Commission.

Mr. Baldo will also meet with local authorities, civil society representatives and the diplomatic community, and visit detention centres in Bamako and other locations in the country.

The Independent Expert will issue a press release at the end of his visit to share his preliminary observations and recommendations. He is due to present a comprehensive report on his findings to the Human Rights Council in March 2014.

Mr. Suliman Baldo (Sudan) took up his functions as UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Mali on 1 August 2013. In that capacity, he acts independently from any Government or organization. The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the Human Rights Council in 15 March 2013 for a period of one year, to assist the Government of Mali in its efforts to promote and protect human rights and to act upon the Human Rights Council’s recommendations.

Mr. Baldo was previously the Africa director at the International Centre for Transitional Justice in New York. In 2011, he served as one of the three commissioners of the International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire established by the Human Rights Council to investigate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in Côte d’Ivoire during the post-electoral violence.

UN Human Rights, country page – Mali: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/MLIndex.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact Martin Seutcheu (+41 79-201-0122/ mseutcheu@ohchr.org). In Bamako (during the visit) Arnaud Royer (Tel: 91 58 09 12)

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

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For use of the information media; not an official record

HR13/283E