Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre
(Treatment of Detained Persons)
The treatment of detainees in the Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre (“the
MTKDC”) is specified in the Immigration Service (Treatment of Detained
Persons) Order, Cap. 331 sub. leg. C (“the Service Order”). The MTKDC
Operational Manual (“the Manual”) provides staff of the MTKDC with
guidance on the proper management of detainees in the MTKDC with regard
to their daily routine and welfare as well as the security of the MTKDC.
Aside from the related legislation and this Manual, staff of the
MTKDC should always refer to the prevailing orders and instructions as
stipulated in the Immigration Service Standing Orders or Immigration Service
Temporary Orders, the latest departmental notices / circulars and divisional /
sub-divisional / sectional instructions or notices in executing their duties.
Appointment and duties of Guarding Officers
(1) The Director of Immigration may appoint members of the
Immigration Service (“the Service”) to be Guarding Officers
for the purposes of the Service Order.
(2) A Guarding Officer shall, while a detainee is in his custody, be
responsible for the safe custody and welfare of the detainee
and for discharging such other duties as are imposed on him
by the Service Order in relation to the detainee.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in Part II or in this Part, the
Guarding Officer may temporarily place a detainee in the
custody of another member of the Service for the purpose of
furthering an investigation, in which case that other member
of the Service shall, until he returns the detainee to the custody
of the Guarding Officer at the Detention Centre, have the
responsibilities and duties of a Guarding Officer referred to in
paragraph (2) in relation to the detainee.
Detainee to be taken to MTKDC
A member of the Service of the rank of Chief Immigration Officer
or above who detains or authorises the detention of a detainee shall
cause the detainee to be taken to the MTKDC and placed in the
custody of the Guarding Officer.
Visits by Justices of Peace
(1) The Service shall provide facilities to Justices of the Peace
appointed by the Chief Executive for that purpose (in this Part
referred to as visiting justices) to enable them to visit detainees
and satisfy themselves that detainees are held in accordance
with the Service Order and any other law.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) visiting justices shall be
permitted to visit detainees at all reasonable time and for
(3) A record of such a visit shall be made in the arrest/detention
sheet of every detainee.
(4) There shall be kept at the offices of the Service a book to be
known as the “Visiting Justices Report Book” in English
and known as “太平紳士探訪紀錄簿” in Chinese, in
which visiting Justices shall record their visits and their
observations and comments.
(5) Any adverse observation or comment recorded in the Visiting
Justices Report Book shall as soon as practicable be brought to
the attention of the Director or Deputy Director.
Notification to relatives, etc.
Immediately after the detention of a detainee, or so soon thereafter
as may be practicable, the member of the Service who authorised
the detention shall—
(a) at the request of the detainee, cause a close relative of
the detainee, or any other person named by the detainee
for that purpose, to be notified of his whereabouts; and
(b) if the detainee is a public officer, cause the head of the
department in which he holds office to be notified of the
detention orally and in writing.
Comfort of detainees
(1) Reasonable arrangements shall be made for the comfort of
(2) Whenever practicable both a detainee being questioned or
making a statement and the member of the Service asking the
questions or recording the statement shall be seated.
(3) A detainee shall be permitted to receive from outside such
items of clothing as may be necessary, subject to their
inspection by a member of the Service.
(4) A detainee who has to spend a night or a substantial part hereof
at an office of the Service shall be provided with a bed and
Toilet facilities and exercise
Subject to such supervision and other measures as may be
necessary to ensure that a detainee does not escape or injure himself,
a detainee shall be provided with adequate facilities and
opportunity to wash, shower, shave, relieve himself and take a
reasonable amount of exercise.
Complaints by detainees
Every complaint made by a detainee about the conditions under
which he is detained or the conduct of any member of the Service
shall, if not made in writing, be reduced to writing by the member
of the Service to whom it is made, and as soon as possible brought
to the attention of a member of the Service not below the rank of
Assistant Principal Immigration Officer and recorded in the
detainee’s arrest/detention sheet.
Sickness or injury
(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), if a detainee complains of
or appears to be suffering from sickness or injury, he shall be
provided with adequate medical attention at an office of the
(2) Where a medical practitioner so advises, or the services of a
medical practitioner cannot be procured at an office of the
Service, the detainee shall be escorted elsewhere to receive
(3) If the detainee is admitted to a hospital, he shall at all time be
guarded by a member of the Service unless he is lawfully
released on bail or otherwise.
Food and drink
(1) Reasonable arrangements shall be made by the Guarding
Officer for the refreshment of a detainee, including the
provision of adequate food, without charge to the detainee.
(2) Without prejudice to paragraph (1) a detainee may be
permitted by the Guarding Officer to obtain other food at his
own expense subject to such food being inspected by the
(3) Drinking water shall be supplied to a detainee on request.
(4) Details of all refreshment and food supplied to or received by
a detainee shall be recorded in the arrest/detention sheet.
(5) Every detainee who has any complaint to make regarding the
food furnished to him should make his complaint immediately
when his food is handed to him. The Guarding Officer shall
follow up with the meal provider as soon as possible.
Communication with legal advisers, etc.
(1) A detainee shall be afforded reasonable opportunity to
communicate with a legal adviser and to consult with him in
the presence, but out of the hearing, of a member of the
Service unless such communication or consultation would
cause unreasonable hindrance or delay to the investigation of
the suspected offence or the administration of justice.
(2) For the purpose of preparing his defence a detainee detained
pursuant to the order of a magistrate shall be allowed—
(a) a supply of writing material and to have letters to his
legal adviser, relatives and friends posted or delivered
with the least possible delay; and
(b) to speak on the telephone to his legal adviser, relatives
and friends, unless such communication is reasonably
likely to cause hindrance to the investigation of the
suspected offence or the administration of justice.
(3) Visits by legal advisers
(a) The identities of the legal visitors (legal adviser plus
any accompanying clerk or interpreter) shall be
verified against the list of the legal personnel. Legal
visitors should produce document(s) to prove their
purpose of visit;
(b) Legal visits will be conducted at a visit room;
(c) Legal visits will be conducted within the sight but out
of the hearing of the member of the Service; and
(d) Proper records shall be made in the “Legal Visit
Register” and the detainee’s arrest/detention sheet after
the visit. Information to be recorded shall include the
time and date, the particular of relevant detainee and
Visits by friends or relatives
Any visits other than visits by Justices of Peace and legal advisers
shall only be arranged under prior appointment.
(a) All visitors shall produce their Hong Kong identity
cards/travel documents to the member of the Service
(b) All visitors shall go through the security check;
(c) All visits will be conducted at the visit room; and
(d) Proper records shall be made on the register and in the
detainee’s arrest/detention sheet. Information to be
recorded shall include the time and date, the particular
of relevant detainees and visitors.
Provided that no unreasonable delay or hindrance is caused to the
processes of investigation or the administration of justice, a
detainee may request to have letters posted or delivered at all
reasonable time and be allowed to receive any number of letters
from their relatives and friends.
Provision of reading materials to detainees
Every detainees shall be allowed to borrow reading materials
provided by the Guarding Officer, e.g. newspaper and magazines
(1) Female detainees shall ordinarily be kept separate from male
(2) A female detainee shall be guarded by a female member of the
Service and, except in an emergency, no male member of the
Service shall enter a detention room in which a female
detainee is detained otherwise than in the company of a female
member of the Service.
(3) The whole of the premises allocated to women shall be
entirely separate from that allocated to men.
(4) The keys of the premises allocated to women shall be under
the control of female officers.
Individual detention record to be kept
(1) There shall be kept in respect of each detainee a record to be
known as the arrest/detention sheet, in which shall be
(a) immediately on the detention of a detainee, the reasons
for the detention;
(b) all movements and interviews of, requests made by, and
meals, articles and any facilities provided to, the detainee;
(c) such other matters as are by Service Order required to be
(2) In addition to the matters required to be recorded under
paragraph (1), there may be recorded by the Guarding Officer
upon an arrest/detention sheet such other matters as he
(3) Except where in the Service Order it is otherwise provided, the
Guarding Officer shall be responsible for recording in an
arrest/detention sheet all matters required to be so recorded
which occur while the detainee is in his custody.
Search of detainee
(1) Upon the detention of a detainee, he shall, before being placed
in any detention room, be searched thoroughly.
(2) The searching of a detainee shall be conducted with due regard
to decency and self-respect, and in as seemly a manner as is
consistent with the necessity of discovering any concealed
(3) No detainee shall be searched other than by a member of the
Service of the same sex.
(4) A detainee removed from his detention room shall be searched
before being returned to that, or being placed in another,
Articles found in detainee’s possession
(1) Any article found in the detainee’s possession which may be
used by the detainee to injure himself or to escape from
custody shall be taken from him and placed in the custody of
a member of the Service, who shall make an inventory thereof
and provide the detainee with a copy:
Provided that if the detainee so requests, he may be permitted
by a member of the Service to have the article in his possession
or to use it for such period and subject to such conditions as
the Guarding Officer deems fit.
(2) Subject to paragraph (1), a detainee shall, except for reasons
which the Guarding Officer shall cause to be recorded in the
arrest/detention sheet, be permitted to retain any head-dress he
is by custom or religion required to wear, essential clothing
and a hearing-aid.
XVIII. Use of handcuffs
(1) Handcuffs shall only be used to restrain a detainee when
necessary for his own safety or the safety of others or to
prevent his escape.
(2) Any use of handcuffs shall be recorded on the arrest/detention
sheet by the member of the Service causing them to be used.
Safety of detainees in emergency
In the event of fire or other emergency at an office of the Service,
the safety of any detainees detained thereat shall be paramount and
if their safety is threatened, the Guarding Officer or members of the
Service shall escort the detainees to the nearest police station or
other suitable place.
Protection from public view
When detainees are being removed to or from the MTKDC, they
shall be exposed to public view as little as possible, and proper
safeguards shall be adopted to protect them from insult or curiosity.
Notice to detainees
There shall be displayed in a conspicuous position in every room
used for the detention of a detainee and in other conspicuous places
at the offices of the Service where it can readily be seen by
detainees, a notice with the terms in Annex A.
Annex A (P.1 of 2)
Notice to Persons Detained
1. You may request that your relatives or a friend be informed of your detention.
2. Provided that no unreasonable delay or hindrance is caused to the processes of
investigation or the administration of justice you may communicate and consult
with a legal adviser.
3. For the purpose of preparing your defence you will, if you have been detained on
the order of a magistrate, be allowed—
(a) a supply of writing material, and to have your letters posted or delivered
(b) to make telephone calls, provided no hindrance is caused to the processes
of investigation or the administration of justice.
4. You may ask to be released on bail.
5. If you feel ill (e.g. if you have any of the symptoms listed below), please inform
the duty officers and ask for medical attention:
(a) high fever;
(b) dry cough;
(c) shortness of breath/chest pain;
(d) breathing difficulties;
(e) diarrhea/abdominal pain
6. Adequate food and refreshment will be supplied free. You are not entitled to
receive from outside anything except the basic necessities of clothing. However
you may, if you request, be permitted at your own expense to have food from
outside to be brought to you subject to inspection.
7. Drinking water will be supplied on request.
8. Clean clothing will be supplied for changing upon request.
9. If you find that you are not treated fairly or you have any complaint or question
regarding your treatment and live-in arrangement at detention centre, please raise
it on the spot with the officer-in-charge. You may also raise it with the Justices
of the Peace during their visit to Ma Tau Kok Detention Centre.
Annex A (P.2 of 2)
3. 你如根據裁判官的命令被羈留，為準備你的辯護，你會 -