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Context: A journalist is talking about a murder. A boy and his mother were in the room where a man was killed (actually the boy killed the man, but it is not known yet). The police arrests the mother suspecting she is the killer.

男は鈍器で頭部を殴られ死亡。その部屋にいた負傷した少年が保護されましたが服には男の血が付着しており今も事情を聞いているとのことです。

What is the meaning of 保護されました? Does it refer to the child being now under protection? Or does it mean he is being held as a prisoner (into custody) by the police?

It's not the first time I encounter the term 保護 and don't understand if it refers to protect someone or take someone into custody because he did something bad, so I would like a specific explanation for this sentence and a general explanation of the term 保護. Thank you for your help!

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保護する only means to protect someone/something, and this sentence means the boy came under protection of the police. That is, the police is not seriously suspecting the boy at this point.

Taking someone into custody is 身柄を拘束する (Meaning and use of 身柄), 捕らえる【とらえる】, 捕まえる【つかまえる】, etc.

  • Thank you for your answer. Could you also explain the value of が after 保護されました? I thought it was there because the police was suspecting the boy, but now I don't know what to do with it. – Marco Mar 24 '17 at 20:50
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    I think it's this が and simply means "and" here. – naruto Mar 24 '17 at 23:02

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