Security forces to get conditions guidelines

INTERNATIONAL Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will facilitate training of police and security forces on the guidelines on the conditions of arrest, police custody and pretrial detention in Africa.

ICRC Head of Regional Delegation, Thierry Meyrat said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the guidelines will also be distributed to regular trainings organized by the ICRC for police, judicial and detention authorities.

He was speaking during an event to launch the Swahili version of the guidelines which were adopted by the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (ACHPR) during its 55th Ordinary Session in Luanda, Angola in 2014.

Since its adoption, the Luanda Guidelines have represented a significant step forward towards ensuring that law enforcement agencies exercise their power of arrest only when necessary and uphold the rights enshrined in the African Charter in their pre-trial practices and procedures.

The ACHPR Commissioner, Mr Med Kaggwa, noted that the Luanda Guidelines were developed to assist the governments in carrying out their obligations to provide all people with the rights to life, dignity, equality, security and independent judiciary in the context of arrest.

However, he said detainees in most African countries were still facing challenges, including congestion and access to healthcare, pointing out that the guidelines were vital to address such challenges.

Mr Kaggwa observed that the guidelines reflect the collective aspirations of the African states, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations in promoting a right-based approach to the critical area of criminal justice.

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