UN rapporteur alleges police brutality during Dutch coronavirus protests
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture lashed out at the actions of Dutch police officers during their handling of coronavirus protests in the Netherlands. Nils Melzer sent out two tweets criticizing officers with videos from a protest on the Malieveld in The Hague last year, and a protest in Amsterdam this past weekend.
URGENT @DutchMFA:— Nils Melzer (@NilsMelzer) January 3, 2022
➡️This is one of the most disgusting scenes of #PoliceBrutality I have seen since #GeorgeFloyd!
➡️These officers & their superiors must be prosecuted for the crime of #torture!
➡️THIS SAVAGERY MUST STOP HERE & NOW!
➡️I will send an official protest note shortly! https://t.co/GdGwRlDNup
He said, “This is one of the most disgusting scenes of police brutality I have seen since George Floyd!” in reference to the Black American man who was murdered by a police officer in Minnesota in 2020. Melzer wrote that comment in a tweet to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday night that included a video in which Dutch riot police officers continued to strike and kick a person who already appeared to be lying defenselessly on the ground.
A police dog also began to bite the man while he was curled up. The edited video did not include footage of the man before police officers began to strike him. The video was from a protest on the Malieveld. “These officers and their superiors should be prosecuted for torture,” Melzer wrote.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) already announced at the end of December that officers willbe prosecuted for their actions at that Malieveld protest. They determined that there was disproportionate level of violence in the arrest of one demonstrator who suffered head injuries and a bite wound from a police dog.
The UN rapporteur announced that an official message of protest will be sent shortly. Earlier in the day, he also shared a much-watched video showing how a police dog grabbed a man in Amsterdam last weekend. He called on witnesses to police brutality to provide evidence to his office confidentially in the run-up to a to a planned visit to the Netherlands and other European countries.
Professor Melzer is the Human Rights Chair at that Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and a Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. For over five years, he has served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Call for evidence:— Nils Melzer (@NilsMelzer) January 2, 2022
In preparation for my official visit in 2022 to #Netherlands, #Poland & #France focusing on #PoliceViolence, I invite victims, witnesses & NGO to submit verifiable evidence (Eng/Fre) on this & other incidents:
➡️firstname.lastname@example.org (confidentiality assured) https://t.co/B4kPL9sxJ0
Reporting by ANP and NL Times