Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pregnancy no defence against arrest

Arresting pregnant women is in accordance with Constitution, says Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal.

Regulations allowing the temporary arrest of pregnant women are in accordance with the Constitution, judged the Constitutional Tribunal on Tuesday.

The issue relates to when the accountant of Marek Dochnal, a Polish businessman accused of corruption, was arrested two weeks before the planned date of birth of her baby.

Poland's ombudsman decided that the action constituted "inhumane and cruel treatment" and handed the case over to the Tribunal, the highest authority on the Constitution in Poland.

The Tribunal decided that arresting pregnant women is constitutional, however.

The law allows arresting pregnant women but if their health requires it, they can be detained in a medical institution.

Ombudsman Janusz Kochanowski challenged the law by referring it to the Constitutional Tribunal after Maria S., Marek Dochnal's accountant, was placed under arrest in 2006 despite being two weeks away from giving birth. In the end, she gave birth in prison.