The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights stresses the
importance of the right to liberty and security guaranteed in Article
5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is worried that
administrative detention has been abused in certain member States
for purposes of punishing political opponents, obtaining confessions
in the absence of a lawyer and/or under duress, or apparently for
stifling peaceful protests.
Regarding administrative detention as a tool to prevent terrorism
or other threats to national security, the committee recalls that
purely preventive detention of persons suspected of intending to
commit a criminal offence is not permissible and points out that
mere restrictions (as opposed to deprivation) of liberty are permissible
in the interests of national security or public safety and for the
prevention of crime.
All member States concerned should refrain from using administrative
detention in violation of Article 5. Instead, they should make use
of available tools respecting human rights in order to protect national
security or public safety. Giving examples of such tools, the committee
recalls their legal requirements, including a prohibition of discrimination
on the basis of nationality.