Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Arrest and Detention

If arrested, American citizens should immediately ask permission to notify the U.S. Embassy. If authorities refuse your request, politely insist to call the Embassy. Local authorities may offer to release you if you leave your passport as a bond. If surrendering your passport is the only means of securing your release expeditiously, be sure to obtain a receipt with the passport number, date of issue and place of issue, plus the name of the person holding the passport and his official title. You should notify the Embassy immediately after your release.

Upon notification of an arrest, Consular staff will make every effort to visit the police station or prison within 48 hours. During the visit, Consular officials will provide information on the American citizen rights according to local laws, a list of attorneys willing to assist Americans, and (upon request) contact friends or relatives to arrange for the transfer of money, food, and clothing. Consular employees will continue to monitor the case throughout the duration. In addition, Consular staff will visit on a regular basis until the American is released.