SOLI J. SORABJEE (INDIA) NAMED AS UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN NIGERIA19971020 GENEVA, 17 October (UN Information Service) -- The Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, Miroslav Somol of the Czech Republic, has informed Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, of his decision to appoint Soli J. Sorabjee (India) as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Nigeria.
(Mr. T. Maluwa (Malawi) had earlier been nominated for the position, but subsequently resigned.)
In resolution 1997/53, the Commission on Human Rights called on the Government of Nigeria to respect its obligations under international human rights treaties and "to ensure the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including by respecting the right to life; by releasing all political prisoners, trade union leaders, human rights advocates and journalists currently detained; by improving conditions of detention; and by guaranteeing respect for the rights of individuals, including persons belonging to minorities".
The resolution established the position of the Special Rapporteur with a mandate to hold direct contacts with the authorities and the people of Nigeria. The Special Rapporteur is to report to the Commission at its fifty-fourth session, on the basis of any information which might be gathered.
Soli Jehangir Sorabjee, was born in Bombay in 1930. He began legal practice in 1953. In 1971, he was enrolled as Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India, and from 1977 to 1980, was the Additional Solicitor-General and Solicitor-General of India. He also served as Attorney General in 1989-1990. The author of books and articles in the field of constitutional law and human rights, he is also a member of numerous professional and academic bodies and committees.
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