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What to Do if You Are Detained by the Police in Belarus: Tips from a Lawyer.

Being detained by law enforcement officers can be a stressful and unexpected event for anyone. In case you find yourself in such a situation, it is important to remember your rights and act rationally. Below are some tips from a lawyer on what to do if you are detained by the police.

  1. Stay calm and do not resist. The first and most important rule is to stay calm. Regardless of the circumstances, do not resist the detention. Resistance may worsen your situation.
  2. Memorize the police officers' information. Ask the police officers to show their identification cards and memorize their details (name, rank, identification number). This will help you when contacting the relevant authorities later.
  3. Avoid hasty words and remain silent. If you are accused of committing a crime, do not confess without the presence of a lawyer. You are guaranteed the right to legal assistance, and you have the right to contact a lawyer (if there is a possibility of being detained, you can conclude an agreement with a lawyer in advance).
  4. Request legal assistance. If you are detained, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer will help you understand your situation, protect your rights, and provide professional assistance in the further process. Everyone has the right to legal assistance to exercise and protect their rights and freedoms, including the right to use the assistance of lawyers and other representatives at any time (Article 62 of the Constitution).
  5. Duration of detention. Detention cannot last more than 72 hours. The terms of detention and the rules for its extension are regulated by Article 108 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus.
  6. Demand notification of relatives about the detention. In accordance with Article 115 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus, relatives must be notified of the detention within 12 hours.
  7. Protect your right to legal assistance. No later than 24 hours from the moment of actual detention, interrogation with the participation of a lawyer is conducted (they will be present if you request it, Article 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus).
  8. Do not sign documents without understanding their content. Do not sign any documents if you do not understand their content or essence. Ask to explain the essence of the documents to you and, if necessary, consult with a lawyer.
  9. Collect evidence. If you believe that your detention is illegal or unjustified, try to remember the circumstances and collect evidence that can support your position. These may include witness statements, video recordings, etc.
  10. Cooperate with your lawyer and follow their advice. After contacting a lawyer, cooperate with them and follow their advice. A lawyer defends your interests in court and helps you navigate through the complex legal process.

It is true that in a country where the law works only for one person, recommendations and advice are not a panacea. However, following the above advice will help you protect your interests and go through the detention process with minimal negative consequences.

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