Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Working Group on arbitrary detention (NB8 Latvia 19.09.2022)

51st session of the Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on arbitrary detention

Geneva, 19 September 2022

Thank you, Mr President.

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Latvia.

We thank the Working Group for presenting the report on its activities in 2021, and welcome the resumption of country visits.

We note with concern the low response rate under the Working Group’s regular communications procedure and the decrease in the response rate under the follow-up procedure. The Nordic-Baltic countries concur with the Working Group’s recommendation in this regard and encourage all States to fully cooperate and engage with all UN special procedures, including this Working Group.

The Nordic-Baltic countries condemn all acts of torture and other ill-treatment and call for universal eradication of torture and for holding all those responsible for acts of torture accountable. Admissibility in courts of evidence obtained by torture can lead to situations of arbitrary detention due to the denial of the fair trial guarantees. In this regard, we welcome the launch of the Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering, and urge all States to provide for their effective implementation by law enforcement authorities.

Madam Chair-Rapporteur, how can effective implementation of the Méndez Principles safeguard against arbitrary arrest and detention?

Thank you.