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III. Rights related to criminal justice



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III. Rights related to criminal justice

A. Prohibition of arbitrary arrest and detention

35. It has been alleged that police have sometimes targeted areas at or near drug treatment centres to make arrests.37 These practices may be linked to how law enforcement success is measured in efforts to counter drug use, especially where the number of arrests for drug use has been used as an indicator of successful law enforcement activity. It has been reported that in some countries the police obtain the health information of people who are registered with drug dependence treatment clinics and use that information for law enforcement purposes (see A/65/255, para. 20).38 In some countries, the police is reported to have targeted drug users to meet arrest quotas or to have harassed users for money or, in the case of women, sex.39

36. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that people who use drugs are particularly at risk of arbitrary detention (see E/CN.4/1998/44/Add.2, paras. 81 and 97-99, and A/HRC/27/48/Add.3, paras. 111-119). Some States reportedly provide for automatic pretrial detention for persons arrested for drug use without examining the circumstances of each individual case, although the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has declared this practice to be incompatible with human rights.40 According to article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be promptly brought before a judge, which the Human Rights Committee has interpreted, in paragraph 33 of its general comment No. 35 (2014) on liberty and security of person, to mean a few days from the time of arrest, with 48 hours being ordinarily sufficient. There have been reports of persons detained for drug-related offences not being registered or promptly brought before a judge. In some States, an arrested person suspected of a drug-related offence can be kept in custody without being charged for a substantially longer time than a person detained for other offences can be.41




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