Law What to do when arrested in Kenya

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These are your rights and what the police are not supposed to do.

Ignorance is not a defence. play Ignorance is not a defence. (Courtesy)

The man in blue can be pretty intimidating to face and sometimes their use of law jargon, if you’re not well aware of your rights, can scare you into accepting whatever they throw your way.

Well, here are your rights and what the police can and cannot do when they arrest you. In the courts of Kenya, ignorance is not a defense.

Under Chapter 4 of the Bill of Rights and fundamental Freedoms, the Rights of arrested persons

are as follows:-

(1) An arrested person has the right-

   (a) to be informed promptly, in language that the person understands, of--

     (i) the reason for the arrest;

     (ii) the right to remain silent; and

     (iii) the consequences of not remaining silent;

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  (b) to remain silent;

  (c) to communicate with an advocate, and other persons whose assistance is necessary;

  (d) not to be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against the person;

play One shall not be detained if the crime is punishable by fine. (Courtesy)


  (e) to be held separately from persons who are serving a sentence;

   (f) to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than--

       (i) twenty-four hours after being arrested; or

       (ii) if the twenty-four hours ends outside ordinary court hours, or on a day that is not an ordinary court day, the end of the next court day;

  (g) at the first court appearance, to be charged or informed of the reason for the detention continuing, or to be released; and

  (h) to be released on bond or bail, on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons not to be released.

(2) A person shall not be remanded in custody for an offence if the offence is punishable by a fine only or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

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When it comes to access to justice:-

The State shall ensure access to justice for all persons and, if any fee is required, it shall be reasonable and shall not impede access to justice.


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