Further fallout from anti-globalisation protests in September
More than 320 complaints have been received by Czech police officials regarding alleged police brutality during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank sessions in late September. Both the actions of the police during the protests, and reports about unusual cruelty towards protestors arrested, are being questioned. Pavla Navratilova has this report:
A total of 129 foreign nationals were detained during protests against the IMF and World Bank in September and they have filed the majority of the 320 complaints received by Czech police officials. There has been controversy as to whether the Czech police force should be looking into the complaints aimed at police officers. The head of the Czech Republic's police force, Jiri Kolar, has increased the number of officials looking into these complaints by one third, and stated at a press conference on Thursday that he doesn't understand how people can question the impartiality of this commission.
The Council Of Europe currently is working on a project called "The Police and Human Rights" which hopes to define clear regulations for police actions in regards to the rights of the individual. A representative of this council was present at the police press conference to stress the importance that will be placed on a fair system of internal investigation, and noted the council's aims to implement this not only here in the Czech Republic, but all over Europe.
I spoke to political observer Jan Culik, who has strong opinions on the police commission that has been delegated to look into these complaints: On a related note, there have been small but widespread demonstrations in Denmark in protest over the fact that the Czech police have detained a Danish demonstrator since September 26th. The Danish citizen has been held in a Czech prison for over a month for his involvement in the protests against the IMF and the World Bank, and has been charged with assaulting a public official. According to the authorities, his actions included throwing a brick at the police. The aim of the latest protests in Denmark have been to urge the Danish foreign minister to take action to ensure the release of the Danish protestor.