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HUMAN RIGHTS AND COUNTER-TERRORISM: UNITED NATIONS EXPERT LAUNCHES OFFICIAL VISIT TO BURKINA FASO
5 April 2013

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, will undertake an official visit to Burkina Faso from 8 to 12 April 2013. This will be the first visit to the country by an independent expert designated by the United Nations Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism worldwide.

“This information-gathering visit represents a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss the country’s counter-terrorism law and practice, with the aim of helping to ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the fight against terrorism,” said Mr. Emmerson, who will be visiting Burkina Faso at the invitation of the Government.

During his five-day visit, the rights expert will meet with Government officials from a number of relevant ministries, including foreign affairs, human rights, interior and justice, as well as representatives of the judiciary and law enforcement, and with prosecutors. Mr. Emmerson will also meet with parliamentarians, representatives of the international community and non-governmental organizations. He further plans to visit detention centres relevant to his mandate.

Based on the information collected during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will prepare a report to be presented to the Human Rights Council in 2014.

At the end of the visit on Friday, 12 April, Mr. Emmerson will hold a press conference in Ouagadougou to present his preliminary observations. Further details will follow.

Ben Emmerson (United Kingdom) is the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. On 1 August 2011, he took up his functions on the mandate that was created in 2005 by the former UN Commission on Human Rights and renewed by the UN Human Rights Council for a three year period in September 2010 . As Special Rapporteur he is independent from any Government and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Terrorism/Pages/SRTerrorismIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Burkina Faso: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/BFIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit): Claudia Gross (+41 22 917 9184 / cgross@ohchr.org), Helle Iversen (+41 22 917 9421/ hiversen@ohchr.org) or write to srct@ohchr.org.
In Ouagadougou (during the visit): Salifou Zoungrana (+226 50 49 06 63 / salifou.zoungrana@undp.org)

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

HR13/076E