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TOGO: UNITED NATIONS EXPERT ON HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS IN FOLLOW-UP VISIT TO MONITOR PROGRESS AND CURRENT SITUATION
4 October 2013

GENEVA / LOME (4 October 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Margaret Sekaggya will visit Togo from 7 to 11 October 2013 to monitor the situation of human rights defenders, and follow up on her previous observations and recommendations on the country’s legal framework, institutions and other factors affecting their situation and work.

“A lot has happened since I visited Togo in 2008. Human rights defenders have played an essential part in the reconciliation process and in the consolidation of democracy in the country,” Ms. Sekaggya said. “My aim is to monitor their current situation in an objective and impartial manner, and to assess progress made and challenges faced in the last five years.”  

The human rights expert, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Togolese authorities, will meet with Government officials, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches, a broad range of civil society actors, the United Nations and diplomatic delegations.

At the end of the visit, on Friday 11 October, Ms. Sekaggya will hold a press conference in Lomé at the Eda-Oba Hotel at 12:00, to share with the media her  preliminary findings and recommendations.

The Special Rapporteur will present a final report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2014.

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s first report on Togo: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Defenders/A.HRC.10.12.Add.2.pdf

Margaret Sekaggya was appointed Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders by the Human Rights Council in March 2008. Ms. Sekaggya is a lawyer from Uganda with over 30 years of experience with justice and human rights issues, including as Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, as a judge and as a university lecturer. She is independent from any Government and serves in her individual capacity. Learn more, log on to:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SRHRDefenders/Pages/SRHRDefendersIndex.aspx

Read the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/SRHRDefenders/Pages/Declaration.aspx

Download your copy of Ms. Sekaggya’s essential guide to the right to defend human rights: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/FactSheet29en.pdf

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Togo: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/TGIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit): Dolores Infante-Cañibano (+ 41 22 917 9768 / dinfante@ohchr.org) or write to defenders@ohchr.org.
In Lomé (during the visit): Eric Komi SALLAH (+228 22 20 24 59 / eric.sallah@hotmail.fr )

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

HR13/265E