Copenhagen Police Accused of Violating Human Rights at UN Climate Summit
December 12, 2009
Danish police have indiscriminately arrested hundreds of climate justice activists during a climate change protest made up of 100,000 people that took place today in Copenhagen. Questions have been raised about the fact that the arrests occurred in a different time and place to where some trouble had momentarily flared earlier in the day. Journalists have been restricted from reporting at the site of the arrests since 1800hrs.
It’s estimated that 100 people are still being held on the road in extremely cold weather, cuffed and forced into seated positions in lines1. They have expressed severe physical discomfort and have no access to water, medical attention or toilet facilities since 1530hrs. Many activists are reported to have urinated themselves while detained on the ground.
An estimated 200 have been removed from the site and taken away in coaches. Several people are reported to have fainted around 1945hrs.
Helga Matthiassen, who was detained for an hour before being released due to an injury she had recently sustained, said, “Of course we’re angry – people all over the world are angry about being lied to by governments who are making a corporate deal at the climate talks, and now when we try to protest against this on the streets we are randomly held by police.
“Not only have we been denied the right to protest, but our basic human rights have also been ignored in this ludicrous, staged police exercise. It seems Danish Police have a new motto: why just criminalise protesters, when you can dehumanise them too?”2
Contact: 0045 5066 9028 (International)
0045 4129 4994 (Danish)
NOTES TO EDITORS
- See Helga interviewed on TV2 News, 2015 broadcast