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Law Guaranteeing Phone Call After Arrest Comes Into Force in Russia

A law outlining the right of a detainee to make a phone call no later than three hours after being arrested has come into force in Russia, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta state-owned newspaper reported Sunday.

“A suspect as soon as possible, but not later than three hours after he [or she] was arrested, has a right to have one phone conversation in Russian in the presence of an investigator or an interrogating officer, in order to inform relatives or close [friends] about his detention and whereabouts,” the law reads, as cited by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

A detainee can be denied a phone call in exceptional cases, when the investigation needs to remain a secret, the report said. In such cases investigators should give a written explanation of why a phone call must be denied and the document should be approved by a prosecutor, the newspaper reported.

The draft law was introduced to the State Duma, Russia's lower chamber of parliament, by several senators from the Federation Council, Russia's upper chamber of parliament — Vadim Tyulpanov, Andrei Klishas and Konstantin Dobrynin — in 2013. Before this law, it took relatives of those who were arrested hours to find out what had happened, Dobrynin stated, according to Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

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