Practice Relating to Rule 118. Provision of Basic Necessities to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides that, in both international and non-international armed conflicts, the basic needs of all detained persons, such as medical assistance, food and water, shall be provided for.
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) requires that prisoners be provided with food and medical attention.
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
Arrest [of an individual] is the restriction of the constitutional right to liberty, which is realized in the physical apprehension of a person involved in one way or another in a criminal investigation and who must be brought immediately before the prosecutor. It is a restriction of the right to liberty as established in the Political Constitution and, in certain cases, the law, subject to compliance with the established requirements.
d. Operational procedure for arrest
When arrest takes place, a procedure must be followed that includes certain steps:
– a medical assessment, where possible[.]
[footnotes in original omitted]
The manual also states:
3. Procedures for the demobilization of members of illegal armed groups
One of the essential components of the government’s Defence and Democratic Security Policy is the demobilization and social and economic reintegration into civilian life [of members of armed groups outside the law]. The main purpose of this policy is to offer members of armed groups outside the law a viable, flexible and rapid alternative to enable them to start a new life, return to their families and abandon once and for all a clandestine life, while respecting their dignity and that of their families and complying with human rights and international humanitarian law treaties.
… [A] demobilized person is a member of an armed organization outside of the law that expresses his or her willingness to demobilize. Once the individual freely expresses this willingness, he or she must immediately be treated in accordance with the following rules:
- the military unit to which the demobilized individual presents himself or herself must cover all of his or her basic needs related to accommodation, nutrition [and] hygiene …
- the humanitarian and assistance obligations towards the demobilized person are not suspended or abrogated while the demobilized person remains in the custody of the military unit he or she is cooperating with. Accordingly, he or she cannot be subjected to unnecessary risks, he or she must be provided with all special means of protection, and all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid him or her being identified or becoming the object of hostilities; [and] lastly, medical and hospital care must be provided if necessary.
[footnote in original omitted]