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The Duty To Investigate The Death Of Persons Arrested And/Or Detained By Public Authorities

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Chapter Summary

Generally, individuals have died or are presumed to have died at the hands of the State, according to the saying that 'the more time goes by without any news of the detained person, the greater the likelihood that he or she has died' When dealing with situations of non-investigation of death of detained or arrested persons, one is confronted with a number of legal questions. These are questions regarding whether States are under an obligation to investigate such situations both in times of peace, and war; and if yes, how far the obligation goes to investigate; which criteria should be respected during such an investigation process; whether it would be enough to punish the direct perpetrators, or whether those who gave orders or supervised the situation should also be punished. This chapter constitutes an attempt to find answers to all of these questions.

Keywords: death; detained person; perpetrators



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