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2-6 Human Rights: Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile




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This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev radev@tune.cs.columbia.edu with numerous contributions by others.

2-6 Human Rights: Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Constitution provides for access to legal counsel from the time of
detention. Police normally obtain a warrant prior to apprehending an
individual; otherwise, in emergency circumstances judicial authorities
must rule on the legality of a detention within 24 hours. Defendants
have the right to visits by family members, to examine evidence, and to
know the charges against them. Charges may not be made public without
the permission of the Chief Prosecutor. Pretrial detention is limited
to 2 months under normal circumstances, although this may be extended to
6 months by order of the Chief Prosecutor, who may also restart the
process. In practice, persons are often detained for well over 6
months.

About one-third of Bulgaria's approximately 9,000 prison inmates are in
pretrial detention. In the event of a conviction, time spent in
pretrial detention is credited toward the sentence. The Constitution
provides for bail, and some detainees have been released under this
provision, although bail is not widely used. Neither internal nor
external exile is used as a form or punishment.

 

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