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All mass arrests during COP15 last year declared illegal by Copenhagen City Court

December 17, 2010
The City Court of Copenhagen ruled today that the all the mass arrests during the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 were illigal and the police have to pay 9.000 DKK in damages to the protestors, who have complaint so far. The verdict declares that all the preventive arrests from the 11th to the 16th of december 2009 were illegal, and so the actions of the police during the COP15 is not accepted by the court.Nearly 2000 people were preemptively arrested last year during the COP15 Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

250 of these people have complained and have sued the police for unlawful arrest and detainment. The case can set important precedence in Denmark, and has been going on since spring of this year. 

Knud Foldschack, the lawyer for some of the complainers that were arrested on the 12th of December, said: “The events on the 12th of December 2009 have damaged the reputation of Denmark abroad. A lot of internationals came to Denmark to demonstrate with an expectation that Denmark was a country where you don’t have to fear the police. They were deeply disappointed.

Today the Copenhagen city court condemned the actions of the police. Knud Foldschack says: “This verdict is a clear signal to the Danish Parliament that they should stop degrading legal rights in Denmark, in order to comply with international conventions such as the European Convention on Human Rights.”

The verdict is a relief to those people who were preemptively arrested during the Climate Summit. Nina Liv Brøndum, who was arrested the 12th of December said:
“This is a really important outcome, it means that people don’t have to fear getting randomly arrested when they go to demonstrations, which many of us experienced during the Climate Summit. It was a very rough experience, not only because we were treated cruelly but because we were denied our most fundamental rights.”

Questions about the appeal and verdict should be sent to:

Klimakollektivet
media@climatecollective.org
Tlf: (+45) 50 27 19 86

For more information and statements, please contact the office of the laywers Foldschack and Forchhammer at (+45) 33 44 55 66

If you were preemptively arrested during the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009, but never complained, please contact the Danish legal group RUSK. If they win the court case, then there might be a possibility to get compensation as well, even though you were not part of the lawsuit. Email kontakt@rusklaw.org (please specify name, address, nationality, and date, place and time of the arrest)

Background:

Nearly 2000 people were preemptly arrested during the Climate Summit COP15 in December last year. At the demonstration the 12th of December, which garthered more than 100.000 people, almost a 1000 people were arrested in the biggest mass arrest in Danish history. One of many to criticize this has been Amnesty International, which in an annual report criticized the excessive abuse of power by the police.

Now 250 people from Denmark, Sweden, England, and France have complained about the preemptive arrests and the behavior of the police.

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