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Decree No. 1 of 2024 Regarding Respect for Human Rights During the Arrest of Suspects

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Decree No. 1 of 2024 Regarding Respect for Human Rights During the Arrest of Suspects

Based on the duty of police officers to respect and protect human rights while carrying out their assigned duties in preventing, combating, and apprehending criminals, and according to Article 11 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which states:

“Judicial police officers shall investigate crimes and their perpetrators, and collect evidence necessary for investigation and prosecution.”

Also, based on Article 3 of Police Authority Law No. 5 of 2018 and its amendments, which outlines the police’s responsibilities to prevent and apprehend crimes, ensure security and peace in the community, protect lives, honor, property, and maintain the rights and freedoms stipulated in the constitution and the law.

In line with the Ministry of Interior's efforts to establish and enhance human rights principles in police work in accordance with Islamic Sharia principles, the ethics of our Muslim society, international human rights law, and relevant national legislation.

To prevent violations that may occur during the arrest of suspects by police officers that could infringe upon the rights of individuals, whether citizens or foreigners, all departments under the Ministry of Interior are required to instruct their police officers to adhere to the following guidelines and considerations when arresting suspects:

First | Legal Guidelines for Arrest Procedures

  1. According to Article 24 of the Criminal Procedure Code, judicial police officers may only arrest individuals if sufficient evidence exists in the following cases:
    • In felonies.
    • In cases of flagrante delicto for crimes punishable by imprisonment for more than three months.
    • If the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment and the suspect is under police surveillance, has been warned as a vagrant or suspect, or has no fixed and known residence in Libya.
    • In cases of theft, fraud, severe assault, resistance to public authority officers by force or violence, procuring, and drug offenses.
  2. Arrest involves restricting the suspect’s freedom of movement and is allowed for a legally specified period. The duration of detaining suspects by police is 48 hours, while for drug and psychotropic substance offenses, and crimes specified in the first chapter of the second book of the Penal Code and related crimes, the duration is 7 days.
  3. An arrest can only be made by a police officer holding the status of “judicial police officer,” as defined in Article 13, paragraph (e) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which specifies that judicial police officers from the police are officers and non-commissioned officers from the rank of sergeant at least.
  4. Police officers may only use force to execute an arrest if the suspect resists or opposes, within the limits defined by law, and in a manner proportionate to the objective or the severity of the threat, as necessary. Firearms may only be used in extreme necessity and within the legal regulations.
  5. Full adherence to orders and instructions issued by the Public Prosecution in this regard, with an emphasis on documenting these orders and instructions in the investigation records.

Second | Rights of Arrested Persons

  1. Arrests must be conducted legally and non-arbitrarily, respecting the human rights of the arrested individuals, whether citizens or residents, particularly the right to personal freedom and security.
  2. Police officers must treat arrested persons humanely, avoiding violence and degrading treatment, such as beating, insulting, or placing the arrested person in the car's trunk, or any other methods involving physical or mental harm.
  3. Police officers must act respectfully in all circumstances during the arrest and avoid arresting individuals in front of their families and children to prevent negative psychological impacts, which could sometimes lead to unexpected reactions from the arrested person's family.
  4. Arrested persons must not be subjected to torture or any form of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
  5. Detained persons must not be held beyond the legally prescribed duration for judicial police officers according to the Criminal Procedure Code and its complementary laws, and must be presented to the Public Prosecution before the end of this period or be released.
  6. It is strictly prohibited to detain arrested individuals in unauthorized locations that do not meet health and security requirements.
  7. The arrested person must be informed of the reasons for the arrest and the charges against them, and their family must be notified immediately of their detention location, unless security necessities dictate otherwise.
  8. The arrested person has the right to be visited by family members and correspond with them unless security necessities dictate otherwise.
  9. Translation must be provided for suspects who do not speak Arabic when their statements are being taken by judicial police officers immediately upon arrest.
  10. Arrests must be conducted without discrimination of any kind, such as discrimination based on color, gender, language, religion, belief, political opinion, national or social origin, birth, or any other status.
  11. Due respect must be given to women during arrests, especially pregnant women and nursing mothers, concerning the timing, method, and place of their detention, in accordance with the morals and Islamic Sharia, and prevailing social customs. A female police officer must be involved in the arrest of women.
  12. During arrests, attention must be given to vulnerable groups in society such as children, the elderly, the sick, and people with disabilities.
  13. Publishing photos or confessions of arrested individuals on social media is strictly prohibited as it constitutes defamation of the suspect, who is considered innocent until proven guilty by a final judicial verdict.
  14. The arrested person has the right to submit a request or complaint regarding their mistreatment, especially in cases of torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Finally, it must be noted that failure to adhere to the legal guidelines for arrest procedures and not respecting the rights of arrested persons will result in the full legal responsibility of the violating police officer, both criminally and disciplinarily, as well as civilly.

  • Major General: Imad Mustafa Al-Trabulsi
  • Acting Minister of Interior
  • Issued on: May 8, 2024