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European Commission to guarantee suspects’ rights to speak with a lawyer, inform family of arrest


Brussels, 8 June 2011 – A 22-year-old man went on holiday abroad to attend a football match. Following the game, he went to a bar with his friends. A riot broke out and he was arrested. The police then questioned him for several hours without a lawyer being present. Under a European Commission measure proposed today, all suspects – no matter where they are in the European Union – would be guaranteed the right to speak with a lawyer from the moment they are held by police until the conclusion of proceedings. Suspects could also talk to a family member or an employer and inform them of their arrest. If they are outside of their country, they would have the right to contact their country’s consulate.