External Affairs

What to do if you get arrested abroad

As new, good, mesmerizing and breathtaking experiences the foreign country brings, it can give you worst experiences too. For a traveler breaking the law at any foreign country and get arrested abroad is very easy as he/she is not aware of the law that exist. In this case, this brings the lot more worst conditions for an unknown tourist which he/she is going to be go through. For example the trip in North Korea is so strictly planned that even if you dare to talk to any local you are arrested on the ground of espionage, in North Korea it’s not you who plans the trip, it’s the Korean government, or take the case in Russia where wondering without an identity card/proof is severe crime which may make you land up in jail. And these are the conditions which anyone can face, but the real problem is people don’t know what to do if they encounter such situation. This article will help such travelers on what one should do if he/she gets arrested in foreign country.

Things one should do after getting arrested in foreign country:

Call your country’s Embassy

  1. It’s advisable to register yourself with an embassy of your home country and must inform them about your vacation plans. So, if you fall into such situations the first thing you should do is inform your embassy
  2. But the reach of embassy is limited. One must know that embassy can only pass on information about your ordeal to your family members
  3. Embassy can provide you with local lawyers to get legal help
  4. The other big problem that tourist face after getting arrested is language barrier. If the traveler is Indian and he got banged up in Spain, traveler won’t be able to understand Spanish and the process will end up in oppose of the traveler. So here embassy can provide you with an interpreter.
  5. Or embassy can provide you with the information of some charity (if it’s there) which will fund your all government procedures.

Know your rights in foreign country:

  1. By the time your embassy reaches out to you back, ask the officer for a written statement of your rights
  2. Study your rights well and make use of all of it wisely. But try every right, who knows what right will save you. Try in all directions.
  3. Remember curiosity kills the cat. Never do anything or say anything stupid out of curiosity, it’ll just make officers to doubt you more.

Use your every contacts:

  1. Apart from calling to your embassy, give a call to your family member or friend who can help you out of this situation.
  2. Providing information will make your family & friends aware of you and they reach out to you with some help.
  3. Ask your family member/fried to have a pen & paper and to note down following information
    a) Your geographical location
    b) Name of the jail
    c) Your inmate number if assigned
    d) Where you were arrested
    e) Who arrested you
    f) Where the alleged illegal conduct occurred
    g) Any potential witnesses to back your case
  4. Never speak something incriminating, remember you are in a jail and a prisoner, you’ll be under surveillance 24*7 so, better be careful

Create a fuss over media:

  1. International media is very powerful, if nothing is getting you help and you have a very compelling story hit the media and something will work for you.
  2. Like in 2013 a Spanish lady got out of Mexican jail and she was set free from charges of drug dealing because of media.
  3. In India Sarabjit’s case who was arrested by Pakistani army, here media created a lot of pressure over Pakistan government to release him and dismiss all fake charges on him, but unfortunately he succumbed to the ordeal

Do not sign anything:

  1. Unless and until you get an interpreter and you aren’t aware of the charges imposed on you never sign any document
  2. This may put you in the worst even situation.

Addresses of Indian Embassy located in various countries: Please follow the link and get address and contact details of Indian Embassies in abroad countries http://www.delhichamber.co.in/Indian-Embassies-Abroad.asp

These are certain things you must do immediately after you get arrested abroad. Best thing is getting yourself familiar with the local laws. And most important don’t panic I know it easy to say and tough to do, but, your calm mind will give you many ideas. Be safe, be careful.

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