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Business Traveller: If detained, what to do?

Business Traveller: if arrested, what to do?

Foreign police and intelligence agencies detain persons for a myriad of reasons or for no other reason than suspicion or curiosity.  The best advice is to exercise good judgement, be professional in your demeanor and remember the suggestions and hints that are listed in this booklet.  But, if you are detained or arrested for some reason, here are some points to remember:

  • DO ask to contact the nearest embassy or consulate representing your country.  As a citizen of another country, you have this right; but that does not mean that your hosts will allow you to exercise that right.  If you are refused or just ignored, continue to make the request periodically until they accede and let you contact your embassy or consulate.
  • DO stay calm, maintain your dignity and do not do anything to provoke the arresting officer(s).
  • DO NOT admit anything or volunteer any information.
  • DO NOT sign anything.  Often, part of the detention procedure is to ask or tell the detainee to sign a written report.  Decline politely until such time as the document is examined by an attorney or an embassy/consulate representative.
  • DO NOT accept anyone on face value.  When the representative from the embassy or consulate arrives, request some identification before discussing your situation.
  • DO NOT fall for the ruse of helping the ones who are detaining you in return for your release.  They can be very imaginative in their proposals on how you can be of assistance to them.  Do not sell yourself out by agreeing to anything.  If they will not take no for an answer, do not make a firm commitment or sign anything.  Tell them that you will think it over and let them know.  Once out of their hands, contact the affiliate or your embassy for protection and assistance in getting out of the country.

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