Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1996 - Austria, 1 January 1996, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa0294.html [accessed 19 June 2013]
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Allegations were received of ill-treatment by police officers. In June Emad Faltas, an Egyptian national, alleged that he was kicked, punched and verbally abused by four police officers belonging to the Vienna Drugs Squad during his arrest, and further ill-treated at the police station. A medical examination later revealed that he had suffered a cut to his eye requiring stitches, three broken ribs, and bruising; he was hospitalized for a week. Emad Faltas, whom the police officers had reportedly mistaken for a drugs dealer, later received an official apology from the police. A criminal investigation was opened into his allegations of ill-treatment and into police allegations that he had "resisted state authority". Wolfgang Purtscheller, a journalist, alleged that he was assaulted by Vienna police officers in September 1994 when he intervened during an attempt to arrest a black African asylum-seeker. According to Wolfgang Purtscheller, he lost consciousness after an officer struck him in the face. When he regained consciousness, he found himself lying on his stomach, in his own vomit, with his hands secured behind his back. Two officers then stood on him while a third person took hold of his foot and violently twisted it, causing him to lose consciousness again. He was subsequently taken to a police station where he was reportedly denied access to a lawyer and proper medical assistance. A medical report stated that Wolfgang Purtscheller suffered bruising to the face and damaged knee ligaments. Police officers involved in his arrest alleged that Wolfgang Purtscheller had assaulted them and resisted their authority. In June a court rejected Naser Palushi's complaint that he had been ill-treated by officers of East Vienna Police Detention Centre in May 1994. Naser Palushi, an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo province, Yugoslavia, had alleged that he was ill-treated while he was on hunger-strike in protest against his detention following rejection of his claim for asylum (see Amnesty International Report 1995). In December the European Court of Human Rights held that Ronald Ribitsch's rights under Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms had been violated. The Court ruled that Ronald Ribitsch was subjected to ill-treatment amounting to inhuman and degrading treatment when he was held in police custody in 1988 (see Amnesty International Report 1995). The Court awarded him compensation. There was concern that the investigation into the alleged ill-treatment of Salim Y. may not have been conducted promptly and impartially. Salim Y., an Algerian national, was kicked and beaten at Schwechat airport in June 1993 by police officers who were attempting to deport him. The assault was witnessed by two women who had just arrived in Vienna to attend the UN World Conference on Human Rights. The authorities stated in February 1994 that Salim Y. had not been ill-treated. However, they failed to provide information about the nature of the investigation, despite repeated requests by Amnesty International. Amnesty International asked the authorities about the steps taken to investigate the alleged ill-treatment of Wolfgang Purtscheller and Emad Faltas. The organization was informed that a "prompt and impartial" investigation had been opened into the alleged ill-treatment of Wolfgang Purtscheller and that its concerns regarding the alleged ill-treatment of Emad Faltas had been passed on to the appropriate authority. Amnesty International also expressed concern about the lack of information it had received about the case of Salim Y. and about other cases of alleged ill-treatment it had raised. In September Amnesty International was informed by the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs that it could "only communicate to [the organization] information as received from the competent authorities".