UN experts ask India to release Christian Michel from ‘arbitrary’ detention

UN experts ask India to release Christian Michel from ‘arbitrary’ detention

A panel of UN experts has called on the Indian government to immediately release Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, as his detention was arbitrary and violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), which operates under the office of the UN high commissioner for human rights, formally released its findings in Michel’s case late on Friday in Geneva.

Michel, a British national, has been held in India since December 2018 after being extradited from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The WGAD was very critical in its evaluation of the handling of Michel’s case by the governments of the UAE and India and said both countries should “accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law”.

Even before the formal release of WGAD’s opinion, the external affairs ministry had last month rejected the group’s reported findings and said the conclusions were based on “limited information, biased allegations from an unidentified source and on an inaccurate understanding of India’s criminal justice system”.

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