Editorial: Detention

31 March 2005

The phenomenon of detention can be examined from numerous angles. Detention can be lawful or not, just or unjust, the treatment of detainees can be correct or inhumane and the conditions of detention can be decent or abhorrent. A person can be held in custody as a prisoner of war, as a civilian internee, as a security or administrative detainee, a political detainee or simply as a criminal; the status of detainees can also be doubtful. The aims of detention differ as much as its modes and procedures.