UN counterterrorism expert to visit the United States and Guantanamo detention facility

GENEVA (1 February 2023) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, will undertake a technical visit to the United States commencing 6 February 2023.

Between 6 and 14 February, the independent expert will visit Washington D.C. and subsequently the detention facility at the U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Over the course of the subsequent three-month period, Ní Aoláin will also carry out a series of interviews with individuals in the United States and abroad, on a voluntary basis, including victims and families of victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks and former detainees in countries of resettlement/repatriation.

The visit takes place in accordance with the Terms of Reference for Country Visits by Special Procedures Mandate Holders.

An end-of-mission statement of the Special Rapporteur’s findings and recommendations will be issued following the end of the technical visit. 

Ms. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism by the United Nations Human Rights Council. She took up her functions on 1 August 2017. Ms. Ní Aoláin is concurrently Regents Professor and Robina Professor of Law, Public Policy and Society at the University of Minnesota Law School and Professor of Law at the Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her mandate covers all countries and has most recently been renewed by Human Rights Council resolution 49/10.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests please contact: Ms. Michelle ERAZO (+41 22 917 9449; michelle.erazo@un.org).

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Maya Derouaz (maya.derouaz@un.org) or Dharisha Indraguptha (dharisha.indraguptha@un.org)

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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