Zpráva pro výbor CPT o porušování základních lidských práv osob zadržených na policejních služebnách (anglicky) - PDF

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Zpráva pro výbor CPT o porušování základních lidských práv osob zadržených na policejních služebnách (anglicky) This report aims to provide honorable international institution - European Committee for

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Zpráva pro výbor CPT o porušování základních lidských práv osob zadržených na policejních služebnách (anglicky) This report aims to provide honorable international institution - European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), with information complementary to an official report of state authorities on the implementation of human rights in the Czech Republic. Date: , Communication to: European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Human Rights Building Council of Europe F Strasbourg Cedex France POLICE ILL-TREATMENT WITH PEOPLE DETAINED DURING SEPTEMBER 2000 PROTESTS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC This report aims to provide honorable international institution - European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), with information complementary to an official report of state authorities on the implementation of human rights in the Czech Republic. Information submitted by: The OPH (The Civic Legal Observers Project of the ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SERVICE, Czech Republic) Ekologický právní servis Bratislavská Brno The Czech Republic I. Introduction A. General facts and findings In September 2000 the Czech Republic become a host country for the annual meeting of the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). About demonstrators took part in protests against these institutions. A minor part of protestants acted violently (the Czech Press Agency talks of 200, the highest estimations being 500 violent participants) - throwing pavement stones, Molotov cocktails or smashing shop-windows at the Wenceslas Square. Between the 26th and 29th of September over 850 people were detained during the protests. At least 500 of them were foreign nationals detained up to 4 days in that period, most of them received orders issued by the Immigration Police to leave the country within 24 hours. This report aims to provide European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment with information complementary and contrastive to an official report of state authorities on the implementation of human rights in the Czech Republic. Monitoring the protests, the OPH interviewed victims and witnesses who gave testimonies of alarming misconduct of the Police of the Czech Republic. The OPH gained many testimonies and other evidences of arbitrary detention and police torture and ill-treatment of detainees as well as violation of detainees' rights including violation of their right to access to legal assistance, to adequate medical treatment, to inform relatives or a third party of their whereabouts, to be informed about their rights and charges in a language they can understand and to conditions of detention which respect the inherent dignity of human being. The findings of OPH illustrate a pattern of police abuses reported in previous years by other respected human rights institutions (for example by the Amnesty International or the Czech Government's Council for Human Rights). During the September protests inadequate implementation of human rights, at police stations in the Czech Republic, was a continuing problem. B. Who are the OPH The Občanské Právní Hlídky - OPH (The Civic Legal Observers) is a project organized by a nongovernmental organization called Ekologický právní servis - EPS (The Environmental Law Service) in the frame of its human rights program. The EPS is a nonprofit organization made up of independent lawyers engaged in promotion of public interest law. Its work is based on the defense of human rights, the environment, access to information held by state authorities, protection of cultural heritage and other public interests by way of law and public participation (for more detailed information about EPS and its OPH project see attachments). The OPH project was set up in June 2000 following the idea of similar groups in western countries, such as National Lawyers Guild (USA), focused protection of the rights of citizens, expressing their opinions and convictions in public spaces. Another impulse arose from negative experience with the Czech Police during similar events including: Pardubice Steeple Chase 1993, the Global street party 1998 or May 1st 1999, and other common cases of police abuse. The OPH project focuses on human rights, through impartial monitoring of protests to record critical moments of demonstration, record testimonies for eventual evaluation of the adequacy of the Police intervention, and investigation of possible violent protesters behavior. Other goals concerned facilitation, mediation, prevention of an escalation of violence and finally providing legal information and free legal aid. The OPH took preliminary steps to inform the public as well as the state authorities. For instance, we had published the leaflet Legal Capacities of Participating Demonstrators and ten thousand cards with contacts to OPH Legal Assistance; however many detained protesters alleged that they had had problems when police officers found these materials. The OPH also negotiated with the responsible state bodies (the Interior Minister, the deputy of the Interior Minister, the Police Presidium and after the end of protests with Inspectorate of Interior Ministry), mainly about identification of policemen and about the access of OPH to police stations. Notwithstanding, members of OPH were not allowed into police stations, neither as an independent civic control, nor as lawyers providing with legal help - despite an agreement, which had been set up between OPH and The Police Presidium, together with deputies of The Government's Council for Human Rights and The Office of the President of the Czech Republic. The OPH were also not admitted to publicly accessible places, such as the waiting rooms of police stations. C. How the OPH obtained the submitted information, and what they have done with it In the frame of the project, OPH have come across victims and witnesses of the police ill-treatment. We have gained 73 testimonies from citizens of various nationalities, positions in society or world-views. We also interviewed those who had not participated in the protests. In the most supported cases, where evidence was coo berated by different sources (e.g. testimony from a victim supported by a medical record, a crossing testimony of another detainee, who saw the ill-treatment with this victim or other testimonies proving general ill-treatment at a particular police station), we have brought 26 criminal accusations against unidentified police officers at seven Prague police stations. Suspicion of the abuse of the authority of a public official ( 158 of the criminal code) is described in 19 criminal accusations, suspicion of torture and other cruel or inhuman treatment ( 259a of the criminal code) is described in 18 and harm to health ( 221 of the criminal code) in 5 criminal accusations. The OPH lawyers represent victims in proceedings of investigating ill-treatment, and thus we are among those allowed to look into police records and be present at interrogations carried out Inspectorate (e.g. the case of Mr. Arkadiusz Zajaczkowskij or Mr. Byoeongju Jeong). The OPH also uses a database of almost 500 detainees and places where they were detained (compiled during the days of protests, from information collected by observers, and a limited number from mobiles detainees had hidden from police); the database made it easier to contact possible witnesses. Besides the 26 criminal accusations, OPH have brought 4 constitutional complaints alleging violations of fundamental human rights, 12 general complaints to superior investigating bodies and 1 unprecedented administrative action against the Immigration Police, for illegal terminating of residence of a foreign national. In the most supported cases, if legal opportunities are exhausted in the Czech Republic, will be applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). We currently continue to inform persons of our activities such as: media, the public, as well as respectable institutions engaged in human rights such as the Amnesty International (AI informed on our findings in its Czech Republic: Arbitrary detention and police ill-treatment following September 2000 protests report of March 12th, 2001), International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), The Government Council on Human Rights and The Office of the President of the Czech Republic. II. The illtreatment conduct of the Police of the Czech Republic A. General information 1. Torture, inhuman or degrading treatment The OPH have gathered testimonies and evidence indicating that detainees were slapped, punched, beaten with hands, truncheons or wooden rods, kicked etc. And ascertained injuries e.g. broken ribs, broken hand, crushed nose, broken teeth, ruptured eardrum, contusions etc. In few cases the alleged ill-treatment may amount to torture - due to the intensity force and impacts (e.g. the cases of Polish citizen Mr. Zajaczkowskij, Mr. Tzarfaty - Izrael/France, Mr. Mueller, Mr. Bosse - Germany, Mr. Jeong - Southern Korea, Mr. Broekhoeven - Belgium, or Mr. Price - USA). Some complaints imply an organized manner of the ill-treatment; e.g. detainees had to pass through lanes between two lines of policemen while being punched, shoved and beaten with truncheons. In according to the judicature of the ECHR some police conduct could be judged as inhuman treatment. For example, some detainees were made to kneel overnight and beaten when they were unable to stay in the position (French citizen Mr. Remy in Ocelářská police station), or were handcuffed to iron heaters or bars for more than two hours (e.g. American citizen Ms. Sylvia Yolanda Mach in Soukalova police station). The overwhelming majority of the testimonies allege degrading treatment such as intimidating and vulgar statements by policemen. Many testimonies state that officers denied or supervised detainees' use of toilets, to humiliating the detainee. Also, many detainees were not given food or drink at all or a long after the 6 hours period required by Czech law. Detainees were generally kept in overcrowded conditions (e.g. Danish citizen Simon Bressendorf was kept with 23 another people in 2 by 3 meter cell at the Hráského police station). Some detainees were held in open air overnight without adequate clothing (e.g. German citizens Ms. Katharina Kunkel and Beke Moritz at the Svatoslavova police station). Detainees also alleged that they were not given any blankets or allowed to close windows. The OPH also found indication that maltreatment with some detainees was motivated by their national, ethnic or racial origin. 2. Deprivation of other safeguard rights The prevention or investigation of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment is connected to additional rights. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) declared in its report about Czech Republic from 1997 the following rights as fundamental safeguards against the ill-treatment of person deprived of their liberty: the right of those concerned to inform a close relative or another third party of their choice of their situation, the right of access to a lawyer and the right of access to a doctor. All of these should be applied from the very outset of custody. Our evidence indicates that the September events demonstrated the apparent failure of Czech Authorities to effectively implement recommendations of the CPT, which resulted from its visit in the Czech Republic in February a. The overwhelming majority of detained were denied any legal assistance. OPH have registered only three positive exceptions, where legal aid was admitted. Detainees asking for a legal assistance were often refused without any reason (or a reason such as the phone is engaged ), although many detainees offered contacts to OPH legal center, where it was possible to speak with lawyers communicate in foreign languages. This right was breached in nearly all specific instances mentioned here; we can also support it by many other cases (e.g. American citizen Samantha Iyer whose demand was noted in the record at the police station Soukalova). The OPH Legal center received only three official phone calls from police stations that legal assistance is required, but got hundreds calls asking for legal help from the friends and relatives of detained people, or from SMS (text messages) from mobiles hidden from policemen by detainees. The OPH lawyers whose assistance was requested by these phone calls/sms were not admitted to talk to the detainee in need (e.g. they were refused on the 27th of September at the Immigration police station at Olšanská street, nor on the 28th of September day at the Bartolomějská station). Foreign detainees, who had spent up to 80 hours in custody, were all (including Ms. Samantha Iyer) allowed to make phone call just a few minutes before being given the order to leave the country and released from, the Detention center for Foreigners, in Balková. Although according to testimonies, they kept on asking for a lawyer, embassy or phone call during the entire period of custody. b. Foreigners were denied their right to contact consular officials (e. g. Mr. Jeong). c. The overwhelming majority of detainees, whom we have interviewed, were not allowed to inform their relatives or other person of their choice, of their detention (we have confirmation of only two exceptions). d. Detainees were not duly informed of their rights in a language that they could understand. All their rights were further undermined by perpetual lack of adequate interpretation. Foreign detainees were made to sign documents without an interpreter or with an inaccurate translation (e.g. at the Immigration police station at Olšanská street, decisions about the deportation detention were translated very roughly often to groups of foreigners, without any mention about a right to appeal, to submit it in front of a court or right to contact a consulate). e. In some cases detainees were not at all, or for a long period of time, provided with an adequate medical care (e. g. German citizen Ralf Vogel). f. Many detainees alleged that police officers did not wear badge numbers, especially those committing the ill-treatment, making them unidentifiable. 3. Arbitrary detention It appears that the vast majority of those detained had not been engaged in any violent activities. Only 19 people of the over 900 taken into custody were accused of a crime; as of 31st of March two of those accused have been cleared of all charges. Our evidence indicates that police detained many participants of peaceful protests. Officers also took into custody people at random, including those suspected to be demonstrators in the protests, or passers-by who happened to be on the street when the police decided to clear the area (see for example the testimony of Mr. Byeongju Jeong or British citizen Mr. Timothy Edwards), there was no documented order to disperse by the police. Detainees also had to pay fines for misdemeanors, which they had not committed. These fines are imposed in so called coupon proceedings , which according to law are based on confession, thus no appeal is allowed. During the protests, these coupons were given, often with no confession, as reason for keeping foreigners for longer than 24 hours, and also for expulsion orders. Even though foreigners were often not told why they were paying a fine, or that they were accused of a misdemeanor (e.g. specifically in the instance of Ms. Samantha Iyer or Ms. Sylvia Yolanda Mach, as well as other testimonies). B. Concrete ill-treatment at particular police stations 1. The Ocelářská police station Six people, who spent the night from 26th to 27th of September 2000 at the Ocelářská station, and did not known each other, alleged that they had suffered or witnessed violence committed by police officials. Nevertheless, the Inspectorate has suspended this case. The Ocelářská police station is the only case, where an attempt to interrogate a foreign witness was undertaken by the Inspectorate - in the case of Mr. Arkadiusz Zajackowskij (after 5 months and after interventions of lawyers from EPS (OPH), who provided his contact). Mr. Zajackowskij alleged that he was intermittently beaten by different groups of policemen, thrown from his chair, and made to kneel through the whole night. The police officers called him a Polish fucker and promised him that he would not to get out alive . After the beating officers had Mr. Zajackowskij sign a declaration that the Police had committed no violence against him, which he says he signed out of fear. He also suffered a broken tooth when a policeman hit him with a gas mask. A Czech national Mr. Jan Klír alleged that he was kicked to the ground and beaten by two policemen, due to this his tooth was broken. He was moved to an isolated corridor towards the basement where he was forced to kneel towards the wall, with other two or three detainees. He saw and heard policemen beat, and kick to the ground a Polish national repeatedly, and swear at him, until he collapsed. Another Czech detainee - Mr. Jan Bělík stated that he was also placed under a staircase leading to cellar, where he had to kneel while hand-cuffed. Then policemen brought a Polish national behind Mr. Bělík. They threw him down from the staircase. The group of policemen pounced on the Polish, they kicked him and shout on him. Mr. Bělík turned his head and asked the officials to let the Polish be , thus one of the officials grasped Mr. Bělík's head and threw it twice against the wall. Mr. Bělík was interrogated by four and later five policemen. Three of them slapped him repeatedly during the interrogation, which took around an hour. One police officer made him lean forwards, laid Mr. Bělík's hand on the floor, and slammed it with his boot. A Czech witnesses Mr. Josef Kudlík, saw two officials beating a young man's head against an iron bar (at least twice), the man was bleeding and spitting fragments of his teeth. Mr. Kudlík also witnessed three men kneeling in a corridor towards basement. He saw a number of policemen coming and leaving this corridor, he heard beats, shouts, cries and swears words such as You Polish Pig! . Witnesses allege that policemen did not have badge numbers except officials interrogating, and that policemen repeatedly shouted degrading statements towards the detainees. They were not allowed to sleep, they also were not given any food. All detainees had to kneel facing a wall until they were interrogated. One detainee - a French national Mr. Remy had to kneel the whole night and, according to Mr. Kudlík's testimony, policemen occasionally knocked Mr. Remy with truncheon; in spite of such a testimony, the Inspectorate has not yet to contact the French national. 2. The Lupáčova police station During the night of September 26th to 27th there were 8-10 people detained, including two Czech citizens. According to the testimonies, all of the detainees present were beaten and ill-treated by police officers. Testimonies allege that 8 policemen committed some cruelties at once. Senior officers did not interfere. The most serious case was that of an Israeli/French national, Yehoshua Tzarfati, who was beaten by several policemen for minutes. He was also kicked all over his body, including genitals, and dragged along the ground by his hair. According to both Czech witnesses Josef Fresl and Josef Řezníček, the officers frequently called Mr. Tzarfati a black pig or black slime . Bruises under his eyes and an undeniably swollen leg were visible for several days afterwards. A German citizen, Tadzio Mueller suffered minutes of beating, and dozens of kicks and punches. He suffered a ruptured eardrum (as stated in his medical report). The Insp
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