10 things the police must not and cannot do to you when you are arrested - Legal experts outline
Some police officers also sometimes unprofessionally deny suspects in
The right of many Ghanaians are violated anytime they are arrested or are in the custody of the police or other law enforcement agencies.
Because of the fear of being in the grasp of the law when arrested, many people end up committing blunders that rather implicate them when they are taken to court.
Some police officers also sometimes unprofessionally deny suspects in their custody, their constitutional rights.
Broadcaster and lawyer Sampson Lardy Anyenini together with law lecturer at GIMPA, Justice Srem Sai and lawyer Daniel Korang, on Joynews' 'The Law' programme outlined what they say are the lawful rights of Ghanaians which must be respected during an arrest or when in the custody of the police.
They also noted some things police must observe when they have suspects in their custody.
Here are 10 things police cannot do to suspects:
1. The police do not have the right to access the gadgets of suspects. Suspects are entitled not to give out the password of their phones, laptops and other gadgets to the police. The police can only access the phones of suspects when they have an order from the courts to do so. So, they (the police) can seize gargets but they can’t access them until they have the express order from the court.
2. The police cannot force suspects to make a statement. They are required by law to tell accused persons in a language they understand that they have the right to a lawyer of their choice and that anything they say could be used against them in a court of law. Suspects arrested can choose not to give any statement to the police.
3. Police are not allowed to use unlawful force or brutalise suspects during an arrest. They are also not to manhandle and torture criminal suspects in their custody and are also not allowed to unnecessarily handcuff suspects.
4. The Police are also not to disallow suspects from reaching their families, it is unlawful and unconstitutional.
5. Police cannot also prevent suspects from seeking assistance when they are arrested. They must allow suspects in their custody to make phone calls, access medical care among others.
6. The Police cannot arrest an innocent person just to procure the appearance of a criminal suspect. This means that a son of a suspected criminal can not be arrested because the police are looking for him and they know the arrest of his son will make him come out of hiding.
7. The police cannot keep suspects in custody beyond 48 hours including weekends.
8. The police cannot take orders from complainants including denying suspects bail and beating them up.
9. Police are not supposed to keep suspects in the dark about the crimes they are being accused of. Police are supposed to serve them (the suspects) with the charge sheet of the crimes they are being accused of days before they are to appear in court.
10. Police are not allowed to create unnecessary prejudicial publicity about the arrest of suspects including organising press conferences on arrests they have made.