A United Nations human rights expert on the question of torture today announced plans to visit Uzbekistan later this month at the Government’s invitation.Special Rapporteur Theo van Boven has requested to meet with numerous top officials during his stay in the country from 24 November to 6 December. They include the President, Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, the heads of the Police and Prison Services, and the Director of the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan. In addition, he will meet with representatives of various non-governmental organizations as well as private individuals.The Special Rapporteur is scheduled to visit Tashkent, the Ferghana Valley, Urgench and the Karshi and Navoi regions, where he will meet local public officials and representatives of civil society, as well as visit various places of detention.The trip marks the first fact-finding visit by Mr. van Boven since his appointment as Special Rapporteur last year. A Professor of Law at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, he is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

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