Practice Relating to Rule 126. Visits to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Note: For practice concerning visits by the ICRC, see Rule 124. For practice concerning visits of legal counsel, see Rule 100. For practice concerning visits by religious personnel, see Rule 127.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 116, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “Every internee shall be allowed to receive visitors, especially near relatives, at regular intervals and as frequently as possible.” 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 116, first para.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 37(c) of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that every child deprived of liberty “shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through … visits, save in exceptional circumstances”. 
Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 44/25, 20 November 1989, Article 37(c).
Convention on Enforced Disappearance
The 2006 Convention on Enforced Disappearance provides:
Recalling … relevant international instruments in the fields of human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law,
Article 17
2. Without prejudice to other international obligations of the State Party with regard to the deprivation of liberty, each State Party shall, in its legislation:
(d) Guarantee that any person deprived of liberty shall be authorized to communicate with and be visited by his or her family, counsel or any other person of his or her choice, subject only to the conditions established by law, or, if he or she is a foreigner, to communicate with his or her consular authorities, in accordance with applicable international law;
(e) Guarantee access by the competent and legally authorized authorities and institutions to the places where persons are deprived of liberty, if necessary with prior authorization from a judicial authority. 
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 61/177, 20 December 2006, Annex, Preamble and Article 17(2)(d)-(e).
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
Rule 37 of the 1955 Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provides: “Prisoners shall be allowed to receive visits from their family and reputable friends.” 
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the 1st UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Geneva, 30 August 1955, UN Doc. A/CONF/6/1, Annex I, A, adopted on 30 August 1955, approved by the UN Economic and Social Council, Res. 663 C (XXIV), 31 July 1957, extended by Res. 2076 (LXII), 13 May 1977 to persons arrested or imprisoned without charge, Rule 37.
European Prison Rules
Rule 43(1) of the 1987 European Prison Rules provides:
Prisoners shall be allowed to communicate with their families and, subject to the needs of treatment, security and good order, persons or representatives of outside organisations and to receive visits from these persons as often as possible. 
Recommendation No. R (87) 3 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States of the Council of Europe on the European Prison Rules, adopted by the Committee of Ministers at the 404th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, Strasbourg, 12 February 1987, Rule 43(1).
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
Principle 19 of the 1988 Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides: “A detained or imprisoned person shall have the right to be visited by … members of his family … subject to reasonable conditions and restrictions as specified by law or lawful regulations.” 
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 43/173, 9 December 1988, Principle 19.
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Article 3(a) of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam provides: “In the event of the use of force and in case of armed conflict … it is a duty to arrange visits or reunions of the families separated by the circumstances of war.” 
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted at the 19th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Res. 49/19-P, Cairo, 5 August 1990, annexed to Letter dated 19 September 1990 from the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/45/421-S/21797, 20 September 1990, Article 3(a).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) reproduces Article 116 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 4.047.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) reproduces Article 116 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.35(5).
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states with regard to the treatment of prisoners of war: “They can have no relations but with the authorities of the detaining power. They are authorized to send and receive mail, effects and foodstuffs by the intermediary of the International Committee of the Red Cross.” 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 33.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008) states:
Chapter 4: Use of Force in International Operations
402. Types of International Operations
1. In general, there are four types of international operational relationships in which the CF [Canadian Forces] may participate with each one having unique considerations pertaining to the use of force, self-defence and rules of engagement:
a. Alliance. Alliance operations refer to operations conducted under a formal standing alliance such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or Canada-United States (CANUS). In these cases, there are formal policy, command-and-control and force structure instruments which will affect ROE [rules of engagement] development and application;
b. Coalition. A coalition is a less formal alliance which is normally limited to a specific mission. Coalitions normally lack the formal status of forces' agreements and infrastructure architectures that are common to alliances such as NATO. A coalition may operate under the legal umbrella of a UN Security Council resolution, but they are not UN missions. Once a mission or operation has been completed, the coalition is normally disbanded;
c. United Nations (UN). UN missions operate under a UN Security Council resolution and fall within the UN command-and-control structure; and
d. Unilateral. An international operation where Canadian forces are operating unilaterally within a region or area.
407. Supplementary Direction
3. Detainees. In support of the operational or security objectives of an international operation, Canadian forces may be required to detain persons. Reasons to detain include, but are not limited to, persons who do the following:
a. interfere with the accomplishment of the mission and related tasks;
b. otherwise use or threaten force against friendly forces, or the equipment and materials belonging to them, or under their protection;
c. enter an area under the control of friendly forces without prior authorization; and
d. are suspected of breaches of the law of armed conflict.
4. Where the use of deadly force is authorized in a given situation, that authority also includes the authority to detain persons against whom deadly force could have been used. In all other cases, specific ROE must be authorized in order to detain persons. The standards provided in the Geneva Conventions will be the minimum standard for the treatment of all detainees whether or not the Geneva Conventions legally apply during the operation. 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, §§ 402.1 and 407.3–4.
Denmark
Denmark’s Directive on the Ban on Torture (2008) states:
Central to the issue [of the ban on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment] is that detainees are treated well and humanely.
Examples:
During detention, emphasis is also placed upon the opportunity for detainees to … receive visitors … These requirements though will be considered with regard to the length of detention. 
Denmark, Forbud Mod Tortur og Anden Grusom, Umenneskelig Eller Nedværdigende Behandling Eller Straf, FKODIR 005-01, Forsvarskommandoen, September 2008, pp. 4–5.
Philippines
The Joint Circular on Adherence to IHL and Human Rights (1991) of the Philippines states:
Family members, relatives … of detainees or arrested persons must be granted free access to the detention center/jail where the detainees are held, in accordance with the law and [Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippines National Police] policy. 
Philippines, Implementation Guidelines for Presidential Memorandum Order No. 393, dated 9 September 1991, Directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police to Reaffirm their Adherence to the Principles of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Conduct of Security/Police Operations, Joint Circular Number 2-91, Department of National Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, 1991, § b(2).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
Every internee must be allowed to receive visitors, especially near relatives, at regular intervals and as frequently as possible. When possible, internees must also be allowed to visit their homes in urgent cases, particularly in cases of death or serious illness of relatives. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 70.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Every internee must be allowed to receive visitors, especially near relatives, at regular intervals and as frequently as possible. As far as possible, internees should also be allowed to visit their homes in cases of urgency, especially death or serious illness of relatives. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 9.71.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Article 116 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 323.
United States of America
The US Manual on Detainee Operations (2008) states: “[P]rograms [for detainees] that may be considered, where feasible and consistent with security limitations and/or mission accomplishment, include establishment of a family visitation program.” 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, p. III-9.
In a chapter on “Roles and Responsibilities”, the manual states:
Commander, Detainee Operations
… The CDO will have the following responsibilities:
… Obtain theater commander’s approval for external visit times and coordinate visits to detainee facilities with the TDRC [theater detainee reporting center] and joint visitor bureau. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. II-3–II-4.
The manual also states:
Detainee Categories
The DOD [Department of Defense] definition of the word “detainee” includes any person captured, detained, or otherwise under the control of DOD personnel (military, civilian, or contractor employee) … It does not include persons being held primarily for law enforcement purposes except where the United States is the occupying power …
a. Enemy Combatant. In general, a person engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners during an armed conflict. The term “enemy combatant” includes both “lawful enemy combatants” and “unlawful enemy combatants.”
b. Enemy Prisoner of War. Individual under the custody and/or control of the DOD according to Articles 4 and 5 of the … [1949 Geneva Convention III].
c. Retained Personnel … Personnel who fall into the following categories: official medical personnel of the armed forces exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport, or treatment of wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, and staff exclusively engaged in the administration of medical units and facilities; chaplains attached to enemy armed forces; staff of national Red Cross Societies and that of other volunteer aid societies duly recognized and authorized by their governments to assist medical service personnel of their own armed forces, provided they are exclusively engaged in the search for, or the collection, transport or treatment of, the wounded or sick, or in the prevention of disease, and provided that the staff of such societies are subject to military laws and regulations.
d. Civilian Internee … A civilian who is interned during an armed conflict, occupation, or other military operation for security reasons, for protection, or because he or she has committed an offense against the detaining power. 
United States, Manual on Detainee Operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 30 May 2008, pp. I-3–I-5; see also pp. viii and GL-3.
Note. Numerous pieces of domestic legislation and administrative regulations provide for the right of detainees to be visited by their relatives. These have not all been listed here.
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Juvenile Code (2005) states: “Visits [to] detention places. The legal representative has the right to visit the child in places of detention provided that the rules of those places are respected.” 
Afghanistan, Juvenile Code, 2005, Article 46.
The Code also states: “Legal representatives [may include] parents, guardians, executors, relatives, attorney or [the] legal guardian of a child.” 
Afghanistan, Juvenile Code, 2005, Article 4(7).
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Law on Juvenile Rehabilitation and Training Centres (2009) states regarding the detention of juveniles:
Article 24. [Contact] with Family
[The persons] in charge of [a] juvenile’s justice rehabilitation centre … [have the] duty … to [ensure that juveniles, whether] suspected, accused [or] sentenced to imprisonment [are able] to communicate with their families, [through] visit, … mail or other ways that should not disturb [the] facility’s regulation.
Article 31. Punishment.
If the … [detained juvenile] does not observe the orders and disciplines of juvenile centres, [the] following punishment will be given:
3. Prohibition of visitation with their family
4. Deprivation of their leave. 
Afghanistan, Law on Juvenile Rehabilitation and Training Centres, 2009, Articles 24 and 31.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Procedure Code (2003) states:
Upon the approval of the preliminary proceedings judge and under his supervision or the supervision of a person designated by him, the detainee may receive visits from his spouse or extramarital partner or relatives, and at his request, from a physician and other persons subject to internal regulations of the custody. Some visits may be prohibited if they could detrimentally affect the conduct of the proceedings. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Procedure Code, 2003, Article 144(1).
Chile
Chile’s Code of Criminal Procedure (1906), as amended in 2007, states:
The detainee or prisoner may … , if he or she is not in solitary confinement ordered by a judge, receive visits of … relatives or of persons close to him or her or of persons who may give him or her advice, with the rules of the respective detention facility or prison being respected. 
Chile, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1906, as amended in 2007, Article 294.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 116 of the Geneva Convention IV, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Ireland
Ireland’s Prison Rules (2007) state:
(1) Subject to the provisions of these Rules, a convicted prisoner who has reached the age of 18 years shall be entitled to receive by prior appointment not less than one visit from relatives or friends each week of not less than 30 minutes duration.
2) Subject to the provisions of these Rules, a convicted prisoner who has not reached the age of 18 years shall be entitled to receive by prior appointment not less than two visits from relatives or friends each week of not less than 30 minutes in duration.
(3) Subject to the provisions of these Rules, an unconvicted prisoner shall be entitled to receive one visit per day from relatives or friends of not less than 15 minutes in duration on each of six days of the week, where practicable, but in any event, on not less than on each of three days of the week.
(4) The Governor may permit –
(a) a prisoner to receive such number of visits in excess of the minimum number specified in this Rule, or
(b) any visit to which paragraph (1), (2) or (3) applies, to continue for a period in excess of the minimum period specified therein, where he or she is of the opinion that to so permit would, in relation to the prisoner’s welfare or rehabilitation, be beneficial.
(5) In the interest of good order and safe and secure custody –
(a) (i) the persons allowed visit any individual prisoner may be restricted by the Governor to persons nominated for the time being by the prisoner, and (ii) the number of persons allowed visit any one prisoner at the same time may be restricted by the Governor to not more than three persons, and
(b) the Governor may restrict the number of persons who may be nominated by a prisoner in accordance with paragraph (5) (a) (i) but, in any case, the number of such persons may not be less than six.
(6) A prisoner who is entitled under this Rule to receive a visit may request the Governor to notify or cause to be notified those persons from whom the prisoner wishes to receive a visit, and the Governor shall do so, in so far as is practicable, and subject to the maintenance of good order and safe and secure custody.
(7) The Governor shall publish in the prison the days and times on which visits under this Rule may take place.
(8) A person, who is not a relative or friend, wishing to visit a prisoner shall make an application in writing to the Governor, detailing the purpose of the visit and such a visit may be permitted subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified by the Governor.
(9) The Governor, shall consider whether or not a visit should be permitted under paragraph (8) and, if so, what if any conditions should be imposed and take into account,
(a) the prisoner’s consent or otherwise to the visit
(b) the interests of the prisoner
(c) the need to maintain good order and safe and secure custody within the prison,
(d) the need to avoid:
(i) the facilitation or encouragement of a criminal offence or the hampering of the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of a criminal offence,
(ii) any person being threatened or put in fear,
(iii) serious offence or distress being caused to any person, including the victim, or family of the victim, of the crime for which the prisoner has been convicted,
(iv) giving rise to a legal action by a third party,
(v) jeopardising the interests of national security or
(vi) infringing the rights and freedoms of another person (including the
right to privacy of another prisoner), and
(e) any guidelines issued by the Director General.
(10) A prisoner shall not be under any obligation to receive a visit under paragraph (9). 
Ireland, Prison Rules, 2007, Section 35.
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(a).
Philippines
The Philippines’ Republic Act No. 9372 (2007), An Act to Secure the State and Protect Our People from Terrorism, states:
Rights of a Person under Custodial Detention. – The moment a person charged with or suspected of the crime of terrorism or the crime of conspiracy to commit terrorism is apprehended or arrested and detained, he shall forthwith be informed, by the arresting police or law enforcement officers or by the police or law enforcement officers to whose custody the person concerned is brought, of his or her right:
(d) allowed to communicate freely and privately without restrictions with the members of his family or with his nearest relatives and to be visited by them. 
Philippines, Republic Act No. 9372, 2007, Section 21.
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Prison Order (1961) states:
Detainees can receive visitors within the days and time provided by regulations of interior order, and subject to special authorization by the prison guardian. Visits can be authorized, unless the contrary is decided by the district attorney. 
Rwanda, Prison Order, 1961, Article 50.
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
A commander who causes serious harm to lawful enemy belligerents who have fallen into his power … by not according them the treatment prescribed by law or by international agreements … shall be punished, unless the act constitutes a more serious offence, by military confinement for not less than three years. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 382.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Prisons Ordinance (1878), as amended to 2005, states:
94. (1) The Minister may from time to time make all such rules, not inconsistent with this Ordinance or any other written law relating to prisons, as may be necessary for the administration of the prisons in Sri Lanka and for carrying out or giving effect to the provisions and principles of this Ordinance.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, the Minister may make rules for all or any of the following purposes or matters:–
(h) visits to prisoners. 
Sri Lanka, Prisons Ordinance, 1878, as amended to 2005, Article 94(1) and (2)(h).
This article applies to persons deprived of their liberty under Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005) pursuant to section 19 of these regulations.
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005), as amended to 2008, states:
SUPERVISION, SEARCH, ARREST AND DETENTION
19. (1) Where the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence is of [the] opinion with respect to any person that, with a view to preventing such person –
(a) from acting in any manner prejudicial to … national security or to the maintenance of public order, or to the maintenance of essential services; or
(b) from acting in any manner contrary to any of the provisions of sub-paragraph (a) or sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph (2) of regulation 40 or regulation 25 of these regulations, it is necessary so to do, the Secretary may order that such person be taken into custody and detained in custody …
(3) … [W]here such person is so detained in a prison established under the Prisons Ordinance –
(a) all the provisions of Ordinance other than the provisions of Part IX of that Ordinance [allowing prisoners to receive visits from, and communicate with, their relations, friends and legal adviser], and
(b) all the rules made under that Ordinance other than the rules which relate to visits to … prisoners,
shall apply to such person as though he were a civil prisoner within the meaning of that Ordinance:
Provided however, that the Inspector-General of Police may, where he considers it expedient so to do –
(b) permit visits to … such person in such manner and at such time and place, as the Inspector-General of Police may from time to time direct.
22. …
(2) Any person who surrenders (hereinafter referred to as the “surrendee”) in connection with any offence under the Explosives Act, the Offensive Weapons Act, No. 18 of 1966, the Firearms Ordinance, the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No. 48 of 1979 or under Chapter VI [offences against the State], Chapter VII [offences relating to the armed forces] or Chapter VIII of the Penal Code [offences against public tranquility] or under any emergency regulation, or through fear of terrorist activities to any police officer, or any member of the armed forces, or to any public officer or any other person or body of persons authorized by the President by order, shall be required to give a written statement to the officer or person authorized to the effect that he is surrend[er]ing voluntarily.
(4) The officer or person to whom a person surrenders in terms of paragraph (2) … shall, within ten (10) days of such surrendee hand over the surrendee to the Commissioner-General of Rehabilitation who shall assign such surrendee to a Centre. …
(8) A surrendee assigned to a Centre may with the permission of the officer in-charge of the Centre be entitled to meet his parents, or relations or guardian as the case may be, once in every two weeks. 
Sri Lanka, Emergency Regulations, 2005, as amended to 5 August 2008, Sections 19(1) and (3) and 22(2),(4) and (8).
Sweden
Sweden’s Aliens Act (2005) states:
An alien who is being held in detention shall be given the opportunity to receive visits and have contact with persons outside the premises except if the visit or contact would hamper activities. concerning the detention in a particular case. 
Sweden, Aliens Act, 2005, Chapter 11, Section 4.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, which also contains a title on war crimes, states under the title “Execution of custodial sentences and custodial measures”:
Art. 84
1 The prison inmate has the right to receive visitors and to cultivate contacts with persons outside the institution. Contact with close relatives and friends shall be facilitated.
2 Contact may be monitored, and for the preservation of order and security in the penal institution it may be restricted or prohibited. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Article 84(1) and (2).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Prison Rules (1985) states: “Detainees have the right to be visited once a week. The number of visitors is limited to two.” 
Switzerland, Règlement sur le régime intérieur de la prison et le statut des personnes incarcérées, 1985, Article 37(1).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The United Kingdom’s Prison Rules (1999) states:
(1) Subject to paragraph (8), an unconvicted prisoner may send and receive as many letters and may receive as many visits as he wishes within such limits and subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may direct, either generally or in a particular case.
(2) Subject to paragraphs (2A) and (8), a convicted prisoner shall be entitled –
(a) to send and to receive a letter on his reception into a prison and thereafter once a week; and
(b) to receive a visit twice in every period of four weeks, but only once in every such period if the Secretary of State so directs.
(2A) A prisoner serving a sentence of imprisonment to which an intermittent custody order relates shall be entitled to receive a visit only where the governor considers that desirable having regard to the extent to which he has been unable to meet with his friends and family in the periods during which he has been temporarily released on licence.
(3) The governor may allow a prisoner an additional letter or visit as a privilege under rule 8 or where necessary for his welfare or that of his family.
(4) The governor may allow a prisoner entitled to a visit to send and to receive a letter instead.
(5) The governor may defer the right of a prisoner to a visit until the expiration of any period of cellular confinement.
(6) The independent monitoring board may allow a prisoner an additional letter or visit in special circumstances, and may direct that a visit may extend beyond the normal duration.
(7) The Secretary of State may allow additional letters and visits in relation to any prisoner or class of prisoners.
(8) A prisoner shall not be entitled under this rule to receive a visit from:
(a) any person, whether or not a relative or friend, during any period of time that person is the subject of a prohibition imposed under rule 73; or
(b) any other person, other than a relative or friend, except with the leave of the Secretary of State.
(9) Any letter or visit under the succeeding provisions of these Rules shall not be counted as a letter or visit for the purposes of this rule. 
United Kingdom, Prison Rules, 1999 (consolidated January 2010), Section 35.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Constitution (2013) states:
Chapter 4 – Declaration of Rights
50. Rights of arrested and detained persons
(5) Any person who is detained, including a sentenced prisoner, has the right –
(c) to communicate with, and be visited by –
(i) a spouse or partner;
(ii) a relative;
(iii) their chosen religious counsellor;
(iv) their chosen legal practitioner;
(v) their chosen medical practitioner; and
(vi) subject to reasonable restrictions imposed for the proper administration of prisons or places of detention, anyone else of their choice;
86. Limitation of rights and freedoms
(2) The fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be limited only in terms of a law of general application and to the extent that the limitation is fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including –
(b) the purpose of the limitation, in particular whether it is necessary in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, regional or town planning or the general public interest;
(3) No law may limit the following rights enshrined in this Chapter, and no person may violate them –
87. Limitations during public emergency
(1) In addition to the limitations permitted by section 86, the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be further limited by a written law providing for measures to deal with situations arising during a period of public emergency, but only to the extent permitted by this section and the Second Schedule.
(4) No law that provides for a declaration of a state of emergency, and no legislative or other measure taken in consequence of such a declaration may–
(a) indemnify, or permit or authorise an indemnity for, the State or any institution or agency of the government at any level, or any other person, in respect of any unlawful act; or
(b) limit any of the rights referred to in section 86(3), or authorise or permit any of those rights to be violated. 
Zimbabwe, Constitution, 2013, Sections 50(5)(c)(i)–(vi), 86(2)(b) and (3), and 87(1) and (4).
Israel
In its decision in the Diriya case in 2003, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
The state does not dispute the right of the prisoners to receive family visits. The supplemental response made orally by respondent’s counsel indicates that suitable arrangements are already being made to transport relatives to visits with the prisoners, beginning on 9 March 2003 and continuing thereafter, from the cities of Jericho, Qalqiliya, and Ramallah, and that it is the state’s intention to expand the transportation to other places as well, to the extent that the situation in the field allows. It appears to us that, in the absence of a dispute regarding the existence of the right, there are no grounds – at least at this time – to issue an Order Nisi. However, we shall leave the petition pending, for the purpose of examining, in another three months, if the transportation arrangements were expanded to other places throughout the region. Also, we request the respondents to check if it is possible to allow visits in Ofer Detention Facility, which is located inside the region, other than by means of the transportation that is arranged by the International Red Cross. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Diriya case, Decision, 16 February 2003.
Israel
In its judgment in the Anbar case in 2009, concerning Israeli policy that forbids residents of the Gaza Strip from entering Israel for the purpose of visiting immediate relatives incarcerated there, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
6. One of the considerations the competent officials must weigh in establishing the policy concerning entry into Israel from the Gaza Strip relates to the duties applicable to Israel vis-à-vis the civilian population therein. Over the years, substantial changes have occurred in the scope and nature of these duties. When Gaza was held under “belligerent occupation” the legal regime applicable therein was determined in accordance with the rules of international public law and the law, jurisprudence and administration of Israel were not implemented therein (for a review see HCJ 1661/05 Hof Aza Regional Council v. Knesset of Israel, Piskey Din 59(2) 481, 514–516 (2005)). On 12 September 2005, following the implementation of the disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria, the GOC Southern Command issued a proclamation regarding the termination of the military administration and since then, the Gaza Strip is no longer under “belligerent occupation” as far as international law is concerned, and Israel has no effective control over what transpires in this territory (see the Al Bassiouni case, Sec. 12; CrimA 6659/06 John Doe v. State of Israel A v State of Israel, Sec. 11 (not yet published, 11 June 2008)). …
7. Considering all the aforesaid, I have not been convinced that in our matter there is cause to intervene in the decision of the competent officials, which established a general policy preventing the entry of Gaza residents into Israel for the purpose of prison visits. Permitting residents to enter Israel for this purpose is not among the basic humanitarian needs of Gaza residents which Israel is obliged to allow even today. What lies at the foundation of the policy implemented by the respondents are clearly considerations of state and security and it conforms to and effectively implements the cabinet decision made for these reasons. In this context, it would not be superfluous to stress that Israel’s control over the border crossings with the Gaza Strip does not provide a solution to all the security risks involved in continuing the visits in light of the expected increased traffic through the crossings as a result of holding the visits and in light of the crossings’ being a constant target for terrorist activities (compare, HCJ 7235/09 HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual v. GOC Southern Command, Sec. 2 (not yet published, 16 September 209) (hereinafter: the HaMoked case)). Thus, as far as the rights of Gaza residents are concerned, we have not found a reason to strike down the policy practiced by the respondents (for similar cases where the general policy regarding Gaza and West Bank residents was under review see and compare: HCJ 7960/04 Al Razi v. Commander of IDF Forces in the Gaza Strip (unpublished, 29 September 2005); HCJ 11120/05 Hamdan v. GOC Central Command, Sec. 16 (not yet published, 7 August 2008); HCJ 5539/05 Atallah v. Minister of Defense, Sec. 10 (not yet published, 3 January 2008); the HaMoked case). At the same time, it must be recalled that according to the cabinet decision, the sanctions on the Gaza Strip are to be implemented while considering humanitarian aspects and in this context, the state noted that in exceptional cases, the competent officials do allow Gaza residents to enter Israel, for instance in order to receive medical treatment or for other exceptional humanitarian reasons. One cannot rule out that the respondents would allow visits to prison facilities if there are humanitarian reasons justifying the same. The anchor for this is found, as stated, in the cabinet decision.
8. The petitioners further claim that the policy practiced by the respondents infringes on the rights of prisoners who are residents of the Gaza Strip beyond necessity, among these are the right to family life and to live in dignity and they refer, in this context, inter alia to various provisions of international law which regulate the status of prisoners of war, inmates and detainees and their right to have contact with relatives and meet with them in the location where they are held. These claims must also be rejected. As for the provisions of international law to which the petitioners referred, we accept the state’s claim that these provisions do not deny a sovereign state the power to prevent foreigners, much less foreigners who are among the population of a hostile entity, from entering its territory even if such entry is meant for visiting relatives who are incarcerated by it. We also accept the state’s claim that the policy which is the subject matter of this petition directly concerns a restriction on Gaza residents’ entering Israel for the purpose of visiting relatives incarcerated here and not the prevention of the theoretical possibility of prisoners from the Gaza Strip receiving visitors in prison. In other words, inasmuch as the policy practiced by the respondents pursuant to the laws governing entry into Israel harms the prisoners, it is an indirect harm and the question is whether this indirect harm in and of itself justifies intervention in the respondents’ policy. Indeed, security prisoners incarcerated in Israel have human rights and these must not be infringed beyond necessity. However, we do not think that the alleged harm to the prisoners justifies a revocation of or change to the practiced policy. This, given the fact that we are concerned, as stated, with indirect harm which is the result of a legitimate policy that restricts entry from the Gaza Strip to Israel at the present time, a policy in which we have found no cause to intervene, as well as given the fact that the possibility to receive visits in prison, regarding each prisoner, is subject to the existence of certain conditions and the broad discretion given in this context to the competent officials at the Israel Prison Service (see Sec. 47(b) of the Prison Ordinance [new version] 5732-1971). 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Anbar case, Judgment, 9 December 2009, §§ 6–8.
Israel
In its judgment in the Yesh Din case in 2010, concerning the matter of Palestinian detainees from the West Bank who are incarcerated in detention facilities situated in the territory of Israel, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated: “It is necessary to take into account also the geographic proximity of the region to Israel, and that holding the detainees in Israel does not automatically deny them family visits”. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Yesh Din case, Judgment, 28 March 2010, § 14.
Nepal
In its order in the Forced Disappearances case in 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal stated:
When individuals are taken into custody for the purpose of criminal investigations, there is a potential for violations of their rights; as such, agencies in charge of detention must be conscious to uphold the rights of such individuals. The right to meet with family members … must be respected. 
Nepal, Supreme Court, Forced Disappearances case, Order, 1 June 2007.
Uganda
In the Cherop case of the Uganda Human Rights Commission at Kampala in 2004, the complainant was a Sergeant of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) who was detained by the UPDF intelligence in 2000 after allegedly “disappearing with a firearm”. The Commission stated:
24. In addition to the illegal detention of Cherop for 39 days there was another breach which constituted a violation of Cherop’s right to personal liberty. There is evidence proving that Cherop was detained incommunicado and was denied access to relatives or friends or medical treatment. …
25. In refusing [a cousin of the complainant] to have access to Cherop the UPDF violated Cherop’s procedural rights under Article 23(5)(b) [of the Ugandan Constitution] which is intended to safeguard detainees from abuse. Article 23(5)(b) of the Constitution clearly provides as follows:
(5) Where a person is restricted or detained –
(b) the next-of-kin, lawyer and personal doctor shall be allowed reasonable access to that person …
In the circumstances of this complaint the UPDF officers were in obvious breach of the above constitutional provision and the breach constituted additional violation of Cherop’s right to personal liberty. 
Uganda, The Uganda Human Rights Commission at Kampala, Cherop case, Decision, 14 April 2004, §§ 24–25.
Chile
In 2002, in its third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Chile stated:
[There is an] obligation to display in a clearly visible place in every detention centre a separate placard showing the rights of the detainee … The placard must mention the following rights [including]: … (8) The right to receive visits, unless he is being held incommunicado by court order. 
Chile, Third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 28 October 2002, UN Doc. CCPR/C/39/Add.14, submitted 18 February 2002, § 34.
Chile also stated:
Act No. 19,567 has introduced the following amendments [to the Penal Code]:
(a) It maintains … article 150 of the Penal Code, but with penalties ranging from 61 days to 5 years of rigorous or ordinary imprisonment for persons who order or unduly prolong the incommunicado detention of a person deprived of liberty … or cause him to be detained arbitrarily in places other than those established by law. 
Chile, Third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 28 October 2002, UN Doc. CAT/C/39/Add.14, submitted 18 February 2002, § 55(b); see also § 116.
Nepal
In 2004, in a declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Prime Minister of Nepal stated: “The detainee shall be allowed to speak with the family, legal practitioner and any other person within prescribed legal provisions.” 
Nepal, Declaration of commitment on the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law, 26 March 2004, § 5.
Sri Lanka
In 2009, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, Sri Lanka stated:
The officer in charge of a Protective Child [soldier] Accommodation Centre or protective child [soldier] rehabilitation centre in which such child is placed shall:
(c) Facilitate and encourage visits by and contact with his family at least once a month. 
Sri Lanka, Combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee against Torture, 23 September 2010, UN Doc. CAT/C/LKA/3-4, submitted 17 August 2009, § 88(c).
Uganda
In 2003, in its initial report to the Human Rights Committee, Uganda stated that “where a person is restricted or detained under a law made for the purpose of a state of emergency”, the constitution of Uganda provides that “[t]he spouse or next of kin of or other person named by the person restricted or detained shall be informed of the restriction or detention and allowed access to the person within seventy two hours after the commencement of the restriction or detention”. 
Uganda, Initial report to the Human Rights Committee, 14 February 2003, UN Doc. CCPR/C/UGA/2003/1, 25 February 2003, § 109; § 256.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the situation of human rights in Kosovo, the UN General Assembly demanded that the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia guarantee the families of persons detained and transferred from Kosovo to other parts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NGOs and international observers unimpeded and regular access to those who remained in detention. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 54/183, 17 December 1999, § 9, voting record: 108-4-45-31.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the UN General Assembly:
Recalls its resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988 on the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, and in this context stresses that ensuring that any individual arrested or detained is promptly brought before a judge or other independent judicial officer in person and permitting prompt and regular medical care and legal counsel as well as visits by family members and independent monitoring mechanisms are effective measures for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 60/148, 16 December 2005, § 10, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the UN General Assembly:
Recalls its resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988 on the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, and in this context stresses that ensuring that any individual arrested or detained is promptly brought before a judge or other independent judicial officer in person and permitting prompt and regular medical care and legal counsel as well as visits by family members and independent monitoring mechanisms are effective measures for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/153, 19 December 2006, § 11, adopted without a vote.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the UN General Assembly:
Recalls its resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988 on the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, and in this context stresses that ensuring that any individual arrested or detained is promptly brought before a judge or other independent judicial officer in person and permitting prompt and regular medical care and legal counsel as well as visits by family members and independent monitoring mechanisms are effective measures for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 62/148, 18 December 2007, § 14, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon all States “[t]o ensure that, if they are arrested, detained or imprisoned, children … shall have the right to maintain contact with their family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/44, 19 April 2005, § 27(d), voting record: 52-1-0.
No data.
European Commission of Human Rights
In the Greek case in 1969, the European Commission of Human Rights concluded that “the extreme manner of separation of detainees from their families and in particular, the severe limitations, both practical and administrative, on the family visits” constituted a breach of Article 3 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. 
European Commission of Human Rights, Greek case, Report, 5 November 1969, Part B, Chapter IV(B)(VI), Section D, § 21.
European Commission of Human Rights
In its admissibility decision in X. v. UK in 1982, the European Commission of Human Rights held that a general limitation of visiting facilities to relatives and close relatives of prisoners was reasonable and constituted no interference with the prisoners’ right to respect for private life according to Article 8 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. The test was whether the interference with the right to family life to which the detainee was also entitled went “beyond what would be normally accepted in the case of an ordinary detainee”. If the restrictions could not stand this test, the Commission had allowed the national authorities a very wide margin of appreciation in the limitation of family contacts on the basis of one of the grounds of the second paragraph of Article 8 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. The Commission accepted an Austrian practice according to which those who were serving a sentence of imprisonment of more than a year were on that ground alone denied visits from their children under age, for the protection of the morals of these minors. In addition to an examination by the Strasbourg authorities of whether the restrictions were reasonable in the particular case, they should see to it that the restriction was not imposed on the prisoner as a disguised sanction on his/her behaviour, which would constitute a breach of Article 18 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. 
European Commission of Human Rights, X. v. UK, Admissibility Decision, 8 October 1982, p. 115.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In 1993, with reference to a prison to which members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement were transferred, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recommended that Peru allow relatives to visit prisoners. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Report on the situation of human rights in Peru, Doc. OEA/Ser.L/V/II.83 Doc. 31, 12 March 1993, p. 29.
No data.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A)
According to the Report on SPLM/A practice, the Penal and Disciplinary Laws of the SPLM/A “gives power to every officer in charge of any unit to arrest and detain accused persons”. The report asserts:
This has led to a practice in the SPLA where many people are detained for long periods. Between 1985 and 1991, many people remained detained without charges in the Ethiopian bushes of the SPLM/A. Detainees remained incommunicado, without visits from friends or relatives, no treatment and in most cases no trials. 
Report on SPLM/A Practice, 1998, Chapter 5.3, referring to SPLM/A, Penal and Disciplinary Laws, 4 July 1984, Section 73.