Article 9: Freedom from Arbitrary Legal Prosecution

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

A person can not be arrested, detained, or exiled without a good reason to do so. This is a security for all humans, so no one should live in fear of being arrested without having done anything criminal. Everyone has the right to know on what grounds they are being arrested as soon as possible. In the case of detention, the duration of detention should be as short as possible, and there should always be a clear reason for detaining the person for any amount of time. This is the reason the police in many countries legally have to vocally inform the person being arrested for the reason at the moment of arrest and state them their rights. This is often seen exercised in movies from where we know the line “You are under arrest.  You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you…”. This way the person under arrest is informed as quickly as possible of the reason they are being arrested. Furthermore, it is also to make sure the person placed under arrest is aware of its legal rights. 

During wars, arbitrary arrests, detention, and exile are commonly used. It is a way to scare, silence, and suppress your enemies. Victims of war are often seen sitting in detention for huge amounts of time and many have been arrested without sufficient grounds to do so. This is what article 9 of the human right is trying to prohibit.

The manner of the arrest is also covered by this article. The manner of the arrest should always reflect the situation. It is a violation of this right if one is arrested violently without having sufficient need for it.  An example of an arrest where the manner of the arrest didn’t correspond with the situation, is the death of Georg Floyd. Floyd died during the arrest under the knee of the policeman arresting him. Floyd expressed his inability to breathe multiple times and didn’t resist the arrest. The manner of this arrest and the death of Floyd plays a big part in the Black Lives Matter movement. Many agree and are infuriated that the policemen involved used arbitrarily violent methods in the arrest of Georg Floyd.

Written by Nanna Orloff Mortensen

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