UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 51TH SESSION

Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Statement delivered by Charlotte Marres

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement.

The Netherlands thanks the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for their important work. Arbitrary detention is an affront to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and human rights. It is therefore vital to address this issue at the international level. 

We highly value the report presented by the Working Group. It is deeply concerning that the practice of arbitrary detention remains widespread. The Netherlands calls on all States to respect the right to a fair trial, and accord equal access to justice for all human beings. In this regard, we echo the Working Group in welcoming the launch of the Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering to reduce instances of arbitrary detention.

In particular, the Netherlands would like to emphasize its concerns with regard to the arbitrary detention of human rights defenders, who are arrested because they stand up for fundamental freedoms. We are equally concerned about the rising number of journalists who are arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in connection to their work. We strongly urge all countries to release all human rights defenders and journalists that are arbitrarily detained.

Chair-rapporteur,

The report notes a decrease in the response rate in terms of its follow-up procedure, both from sources and from governments. How can the international community support the efforts of the Working Group to ensure proper follow-up and implementation of the Working Group’s opinions?

Thank you.