|This article needs additional citations for verification.|
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2009)
Arbitrary arrest and arbitrary detention are the arrest and/or detention of an individual in a case in which there is no likelihood or evidence that they committed a crime against legal statute, or in which there has been no proper due process of law. In a way, such forms of arbitrary actions are done out of pure whim and/or flimsiness.
Arbitrarily arresting and/or detaining persons contradicts rule of law established in democracies as well as habeas corpus and is thereafter illegal in those regimes. In practice in the first decade of the 21st century, arbitrary arrest and/or detention (the definitions of these terms vary between different national jurisdictions) is typically tolerated by the legal system for a short duration, of a few hours up to a few days, in most democracies, especially in response to political street demonstrations. It is often a characteristic of dictatorships or police states, which may also engage in forced disappearance.
Virtually all individuals who are arbitrarily arrested are given absolutely no explanation as to why they are being arrested, and they are not shown any arrest warrant. Depending on the social context, many or the vast majority of arbitrarily arrested individuals may be held incommunicado and their whereabouts can be concealed from their family, associates, the public population and open trial courts. Many individuals who are arbitrarily arrested and detained suffer physical and/or psychological torture during interrogation, as well as extrajudicial punishment and other abuses in the hands of those detaining them.
Arbitrarily depriving an individual of their liberty is strictly prohibited by the United Nations' division for human rights. Article 9 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights decrees that "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile"; that is, no individual, regardless of circumstances, is to be deprived of their liberty or exiled from their country without having first committed an actual criminal offense against a legal statute, and the government cannot deprive an individual of their liberty without proper due process of law.
- Extrajudicial detention
- Contempt of cop
- Extrajudicial punishment
- Forced disappearance
- Habeas corpus
- Human rights
- Patrick Pogan
- Secret police
- State of emergency
- "Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile". Human Rights Law. United Nations Cyber Schoolbus. 2006-11-09. http://www0.un.org/cyberschoolbus/humanrights/declaration/9.asp. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- "Human Rights Violations by the Indonesian Armed Forces". Human Rights. Human Rights Watch. 1998-06-27. http://www.hrw.org/reports/1997/indtimor/Indtimor-04.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- "Arbitrary arrest / Incommunicado detention / Risks of ill-treatment - SYR 003 / 0506 / OBS 060". Human Rights. International Federation for Human Rights. 2006-05-15. http://www.fidh.org/spip.php?article3324. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- "Enforced Disappearance and Incommunicado Detention in China". Human Rights. World Organisation Against Torture. 2007-08-31. http://www.omct.org/index.php?id=&lang=eng&articleId=7239. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". Human Rights. United Nations. 1998-12-01. http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Human Rights First; Behind the Wire: An Update to Ending Secret Detentions (2005)