Human Rights Council Thirty-third session

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 30 September 2016

33/30. Arbitrary detention

The Human Rights Council,

Reaffirming articles 3, 9, 10 and 29 and other relevant provisions of the Universal

Declaration of Human Rights,

Recalling articles 9 to 11 and 14 to 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights,

Recalling also Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1991/42 of 5 March 1991

and 1997/50 of 15 April 1997, and Human Rights Council resolutions 6/4 of 28 September

2007, 10/9 of 26 March 2009, 15/18 of 30 September 2010, 20/16 of 6 July 2012 and 24/7

of 26 September 2013,

Recalling further General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 on the

Human Rights Council,

Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 5/1, on institution-building of the

Council, and 5/2, on the Code of Conduct for special procedure mandate holders of the

Council, of 18 June 2007, and stressing that the mandate holder shall discharge his or her

duties in accordance with those resolutions and the annexes thereto,

1. Stresses the importance of the work of the Working Group on Arbitrary


2. Takes note with interest of the latest reports of the Working Group,1

including the recommendations contained therein;

3. Requests the States concerned to take account of the views of the Working

Group and, where necessary, to take appropriate steps to remedy the situation of persons

arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, and to inform the Working Group of the steps they have


1 A/HRC/27/48 and Add.1–5, A/HRC/30/36 and Add.1–3, and A/HRC/30/37.

4. Notes the efforts of the Working Group to elaborate basic principles and

guidelines on remedies and procedures on the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty

by arrest or detention to bring proceedings before a court;

5. Encourages all States:

(a) To give due consideration to the opinions and appeals of the Working Group;

(b) To take appropriate measures to ensure that their legislation, regulations and

practices remain in conformity with relevant international standards and the applicable

international legal instruments;

(c) To respect and promote the right of anyone arrested or detained on a criminal

charge to be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise

judicial power, and to be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release;

(d) To respect and promote the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty by

arrest or detention to bring proceedings before court, in order that the court may decide

without delay on the lawfulness of his or her detention and order his or her release if the

detention is not lawful, in accordance with their international obligations;

(e) To ensure that the right referred to in subparagraph (d) above is equally

respected in cases of administrative detention, including administrative detention in relation

to public security legislation;

(f) To ensure that anyone who is arrested or detained on a criminal charge has

adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his or her defence, including the

opportunity to engage and communicate with the counsel of his or her choice;

(g) To ensure that the conditions of pretrial detention do not undermine the

fairness of the trial;

(h) To provide guarantees with respect to any form of detention against unlawful

or arbitrary deprivations of liberty;

6. Recognizes that persons who are unlawfully or arbitrarily deprived of their

liberty are vulnerable to extrajudicial killings, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading

treatment or punishment, and to other human rights violations;

7. Encourages all States to cooperate with the Working Group and to give

serious consideration to responding favourably to its requests for visits so that it may carry

out its mandate even more effectively;

8. Notes with concern that a persistently large proportion of urgent appeals of

the Working Group has been left unanswered, and urges the States concerned to give the

necessary attention to the urgent appeals addressed to them by the Working Group on a

strictly humanitarian basis and without prejudging its possible final conclusions, and to the

communication of the same case pursuant to the regular complaint procedure;

9. Encourages the Working Group to, in accordance with its working methods,

continue to provide the State concerned with relevant and detailed information concerning

allegations of arbitrary detention in order to facilitate a prompt and substantive response to

these communications without prejudice to the need for the State concerned to cooperate

with the Working Group;

10. Notes with deep concern that the Working Group has received increasing

information on reprisals suffered by individuals who were the subject of an urgent appeal or

opinion or who applied a recommendation of the Working Group, and calls upon the States

concerned to take appropriate measures to prevent such acts and to combat impunity by

bringing perpetrators to justice and by providing victims with appropriate remedies;

11. Expresses its profound thanks to the States that have extended their

cooperation to the Working Group and responded to its requests for information, and

invites all States concerned to demonstrate the same spirit of cooperation;

12. Notes with satisfaction that the Working Group has been informed of the

release of some of the individuals whose situation has been brought to its attention, while

deploring the many cases that have not yet been resolved;

13. Decides to extend the mandate of the Working Group for a further period of

three years, in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1991/42 and

1997/50 and Human Rights Council resolution 6/4;

14. Notes with concern that, according to the Working Group, it has insufficient

resources to exercise its mandate effectively, particularly in relation to human resources, of

which there is an acute need, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the Working

Group with all the assistance necessary for it to be able to sustainably fulfil its mandate

effectively, in particular by putting adequate human and material resources at its disposal,

including with regard to field missions;

15. Decides to continue its consideration of the question of arbitrary detention in

conformity with its programme of work.

42nd meeting

30 September 2016

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 46 to 0, with 1 abstention. The voting was as follows:

In favour:

Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia (Plurinational State of),

Botswana, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, El

Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia,

Kenya, Latvia, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia,

Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar,

Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South

Africa, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo,

United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern

Ireland, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam