What to do when arrested in Kenya

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

Ignorance is not a defence.

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;

(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;

(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.


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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