Handcuffing suspects during police questioning should meet clear requirements: watchdog
By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) — Using handcuffs on suspects during police questioning should meet clear requirements, the human rights watchdog said Tuesday.
A mother of two children filed a petition with the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, claiming the two were handcuffed for seven and four hours, respectively, when they were arrested for questioning by police.
The police said the suspects were handcuffed to prevent them from fleeing and inflicting self-injury.
The police cited a relevant clause of the criminal investigation guidelines that said suspects should be released from handcuffs during questioning except in circumstances when there is fear of suicide, self-injury, escape and assault.
The commission, however, ruled that the use of handcuffs on the two children during the entire police questioning and waiting period cannot be judged as a reasonable or inevitable circumstance.
The watchdog said it is difficult to judge that the recent criminal records of the two suspects were a sign there was fear of escape.
The police have also failed to present evidence that the two presented a risk of self-injury, escape and violence at the time, according to the commission.
The agency advised the police to educate officers about the proper requirements needed for the handcuffing of suspects during questioning.