Right to information

Key Elements

The right to information is important for legal proceedings for persons in pre-trial detention (including the information required for an appeal) as well as when it comes to the rights, obligations and rules of life in detention.

The right to information is essential for all persons deprived of liberty since one cannot assert one’s rights if they are not aware of them.  Contrary to the outside world, places of detention are characterised by de facto restriction regarding the access to information. Therefore, knowledge of one’s legal situation, including possibilities of appeal, as well as the establishment’s daily rules constitutes not only a right but also a way to limit vulnerability to abuse, injustice and discrimination. Good management of the place of detention will be facilitated if rights, obligations and rules are known by all.

The right to information must be especially guaranteed for certain categories of detainees who, for reasons of language, age, illness or intellectual disabilities do not have equal access to information. This should be the case even if it implies an effort or additional accommodations by the authorities.