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Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of
Detention or Imprisonment
Adopted by General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988
Scope of the Body of Principles
These principles apply for the protection of all persons under any form of detention or
imprisonment.
Use of Terms
For the purposes of the Body of Principles:
( a ) "Arrest" means the act of apprehending a person for the alleged commission of an offence
or by the action of an authority;
( b ) "Detained person" means any person deprived of personal liberty except as a result of
conviction for an offence;
( c ) "Imprisoned person" means any person deprived of personal liberty as a result of conviction
for an offence;
( d ) "Detention" means the condition of detained persons as defined above;
( e ) "Imprisonment" means the condition of imprisoned persons as defined above;
( f ) The words "a judicial or other authority" means a judicial or other authority under the law
whose status and tenure should afford the strongest possible guarantees of competence,
impartiality and independence.
Principle 1
All persons under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be treated in a humane manner
and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
Principle 2
Arrest, detention or imprisonment shall only be carried out strictly in accordance with the
provisions of the law and by competent officials or persons authorized for that purpose.
Principle 3
There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the human rights of persons under
any form of detention or imprisonment recognized or existing in any State pursuant to law,
conventions, regulations or custom on the pretext that this Body of Principles does not recognize
such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
Principle 4
Any form of detention or imprisonment and all measures affecting the human rights of a person
under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be ordered by, or be subject to the effective
control of, a judicial or other authority.
Principle 5

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