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States must not abuse administrative detention

PACE today called on member States to refrain from placing political opponents, human rights activists or journalists in administrative detention in order to punish them or obtain confessions. Nor should administrative detention be used as a means of managing migration or preventing people from taking part in peaceful protests, said the members of the Assembly.

To protect national security or public safety, and to prevent criminal offences such as acts of terrorism, member States can use restrictions of freedom falling short of detention, such as the obligation for suspects to remain within a certain area, enforced, if need be, by electronic tagging devices, said PACE.

At the same time, states should show the utmost restraint in applying alternative measures to administrative detention, with all restrictions of freedom being based on a clear, predictable legislative authorisation and respecting the principle of non-discrimination, underlined PACE in a resolution adopted on the basis of a report by Lord Richard Balfe (United Kingdom, EC).