Subject: UN rights panel to launch Timor inquiry before mid-November

UN rights panel to launch Timor inquiry before mid-November

GENEVA, Oct 22 (AFP) - A five-member team tasked with investigating human rights abuses in East Timor hopes to begin its inquiries on the ground during the first couple of weeks of November, a spokesman said on Friday.

Jose Luis Diaz, a spokesman for the UN Human Rights Commission, Jose Luis Diaz, said the team, led by the Costa Rican jurist and member of parliament Sonia Picado is due to first come to Geneva at the beginning of November for a briefing at the UN agency.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, announced the composition of the commission last week.

Apart from Picado, its members are the former chief of justice of India, A.M. Ahmadi, the deputy chief justice of Papua New Guinea, Mari Kapa, Nigeria's former minister of women's affairs, Judith Sefi Attah, and the former German justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

The delegation, which will investigate human rights violations in East Timor since January this year, is due to present its report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan before December 31.

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