By Beth Main
The Ministry of Public Security has announced new regulations to prevent the detainment of anyone under the age of 16. The announcement comes as an amendment to a new set of prison regulations that were implemented last April.
Critics have raised concerns that police often misuse the right to detain as a punishment or preventative measure. The new regulations aim to clarify police officers’ rights and those of the detainees.
The regulations also exclude detaining anyone over the age of 70, pregnant women or women still breast feeding, or anyone with a serious illness. First time offenders between the ages of 16 and 18 are also off the hook.
Any form of insult, maltreatment or corporal punishment is explicitly forbidden, and police officers are called on to respect the integrity of anyone they arrest. Once in custody prisoners are to be supervised and monitored for their own safety. In case of a prisoner’s death or injury while in custody, a record must be maintained by police for at least 15 days for use in any compensation settlement.