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Firstly, the Code of Criminal Procedure was amended. In particular, the articles allowing
arrest on suspicion were repealed and an article added under which public officials are obliged,
at the time of arrest, to provide persons being arrested with a verbal indication of the grounds on
which they are being deprived of their freedom and inform them of their rights; these must be
displayed in any place of detention in a prominent manner. The person in charge of the first
place of detention to which an arrested person is taken bears the same obligation to provide
information. The rights of arrested persons include: the right to be informed of their rights and
the grounds for their arrest; to remain silent; to be taken immediately to a public place of
detention; to have a relative or another person of their choice informed, in their presence, of the
grounds for the arrest and the place where they are being held; not to be subjected to torture or
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; to request the presence of a lawyer; to receive visits,
except where they have been forbidden by order of a court; to benefit from legal counsel chosen
by them or designated by a court; to be brought before a court; and to be provided with such
amenities as are compatible with the prison regime.
The reform of the Code of Criminal Procedure also covers the consequences of failure by
the officials responsible for the arrest to comply with these obligations. Specifically, a court will
disregard any statements made by an arrested person in the presence of arresting personnel who
have failed to comply with these obligations, and will forward details of such cases to the
appropriate authorities so that the applicable disciplinary measures can be imposed.
Regarding the amendments introduced in the Penal Code by the new Act, a new
provision lays down the following punishments: between 541 days and 5 years for public
employees who “subject a private individual who is in detention to torture or unlawful physical
or mental coercion or who order or consent to their use”; between 3 and 10 years for anyone
who, by the same means, “compels the victim or a third party to make a confession, provide a
statement of any kind or supply information”; and between 5 and 15 years for public employees
who inflict serious injury on or cause the death of a detained person, as a result of the acts
described above, if the result is attributable to the negligence or lack of care of the public
employee. Also covered are lesser punishments applicable to persons who are not public
employees and who perform acts of the same type. The Act takes up the international criteria
relating to torture which are to be found in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In that regard, the Government highlighted the
designation of torture as an offence and the prevention of torture in the context of the rights of
detainees, and especially the right to remain silent. Lastly, it emphasized the repeal of the
articles relating to the offences of vagrancy and begging.
Concerning the bill on a new Code of Criminal Procedure and the Prosecution Service
(Organization) Act, the Government stated that the draft of the new Code had been approved by
the Chamber of Deputies on 21 January 1998, and forwarded to the Senate. Regarding the
Prosecution Service, Act No. 19.519 had been adopted on 16 September 1997, while the
organization act for the service still awaits adoption.
The Rapporteur asked the Government to provide information on law enforcement
officials who had been punished for offences relating to violation of the right to the physical
integrity of detained persons in the years 1996 and 1997.

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