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Objet : Extra Edition Other Voices Envoyé le : 19/11/97 12:28 Reçu le : 20/11/97 7:56 Expéditeur : Coalition for a Different Europe, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDEPENDENT COMMISSION CONDEMNS MASS ARRESTS DURING EU-SUMMIT!
From: the Dutch Coalition Towards a Different Europe To: All European groups on the Other Voices mailing list. Concerns: Latest news on police misbehaviour in June
Report of the independent Commission:
On Tuesday the 18th of November the Commission "Schalken" (an official independent commission reporting to city council) presented its report about the police performance during the EU- summit in June.
The Commission's inquiry centred on whether the police had satisfactory grounds for making these arrests and on how they subsequently treated the detainees. They didn't investigate the deportation of foreigners since this is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice. Nor did they investigate the way the detainees were being treated, since this is being investigated by another commission. The police cooperated with the making of this report.
The Commission investigated the three mass arrests which were made: 1. The Italians at the demonstration on the 14th of june 2. The arrests at Vrankrijk on sunday the 15th 3. The arrests at the cheer demonstration on monday the 16th.
The commission is very negative about the police. The commission says all the tree mass-arrests were illegal!
Ad 1: About the Italians they say the following: Regarding the return of the trainload of Italians, the Commission concludes that the police made an error of judgment in weighing up the interests of enabling the European Summit to proceed safely and smoothly, and those of allowing the public to exercise the constitutional rights of demonstration and freedom of expression. The police had insufficient reason for allowing the security factor to prevail. The damage done to the train was not as such as to constitute a grave risk that the group of 150 Italians would disturb the public order in the city. This did not satisfy the statutory criterion. Moreover, the actions of the police were contrary to the requirement of effectiveness: it cannot be said that the advantages of removing them from Amsterdam outweighed the disadvantages of doing so.
Ad 2: The 371 people which were arrested upon emerging from the Vrankrijk building because they were suspected of belonging to a criminal organisation (article 140). This means that each individual should be charged with this offence. According to the Commission there's no way that there were reasonable grounds for the police to believe that every person who was being detained was a member of a criminal organisation. Interesting detail: on the same day as the Commission presented its report the prosecution announced that they wonët prosecute these people since there isn't enough evidence to make a case. Coincidence ?
Ad 3: The 150 arrests at the cheer demonstration were incorrect. The objective -- to prevent the heads of state and government from being kept awake at night -- could have been achieved by less drastic means. i.e. by removing the group from the area with the assistance of the riot squad.
In short, the Commission concluded that the complaint report of the Autonoom Centrum was in sense grounded.
Reaction of the mayor
The mayor reacted on the Commission. He made his own evaluation. In that they repeat that the IGC was without noticeable incidents. The arrests were justified on the ground of information they had gathered beforehand and the plans of the EU-critics. The only criticism that they are willing to justify are the arrests which were made on the cheer demonstration on monday. There was no warning before the arrests, therefore the arrests were not justified. An interesting point is that the mayor say that people who have suffered clear damage will be compensated.
The mayor's reaction was very nonchalant. Moreover, the prosecutor Vrakking said in a Dutch newspaper that he would do 'exactly the same' if he would be in a similar situation. These gentlemen are apparently not bothered or worried that they might have made some mistakes. Clearly, they are not fit to perform their duties, which are that they should make sure that Amsterdam is a city where people can express their opinions in a democratic way.
According to the Dutch Coalition, they all should resign immediately. We call upon the parliament to hold a parliamentary investigation, and to make sure that those who are responsible should be punished. This opinion of the coalition is already being published in all mayor newspapers and on TV.
Now what ? Upcoming actions
* Look in the November Issue of the Other Voices for details abbout international action at Dutch embassies in the week November 19-25. Please forward information on your actions to email@example.com
* On friday the 21th, the Autonoom Centrum will charge the mayor and the head of the police and the prosecutor with the use of article of 140. The three are a member of a criminal organisation, since they planned and committed the imprisonment of hundreds of people. Autonoom Centrum goes to the the police headquarters in Amsterdam at noon.
* On november the 25th, the Amsterdam city council will discuss the evaluation of the mayor and the report of the independent commission.
* Apparently, the Dutch parliament is going to do something at last There will be a debate soon.
* There's an English copy of the report available. You can call the independent Commission "Schalken" at: Tel: +31-20-5523505 Fax: +31-20-6242321 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* The Autonoom Centrum is putting the entire report on their website. http://www.xs4all.nl/~ac
Please write us back if you are planning to do anything about this or if you have more questions you can contact us.
Anne van Schaik Dutch Coalition Towards a different Europe
Postbus 54 1000 AB Amsterdam Tel: +31-20-4708833 Fax: +31-20-6763931 email@example.com
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