There were further significant developments relating to alleged misconduct by police in previous years. In June parliament passed a bill creating a new system for investigating complaints of police misconduct. The bill, effective from 1996, makes regional state prosecutors responsible for handling complaints against the police; these prosecutors can call on the national police to assist in investigations. Regional Police Complaints Boards will be informed of complaints and receive investigation materials and findings; they can make recommendations as to how a complaint should be decided and can appeal against prosecutors' decisions to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The UN Committee against Torture, which examined Denmark's second periodic report, recommended that Denmark give high priority to considering incorporation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment into domestic law; take strong measures to bring an end to ill-treatment; ensure that allegations of ill-treatment are speedily and properly investigated; and prosecute alleged perpetrators of ill-treatment. There was continued controversy over the proceedings and investigations relating to the violent demonstration in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, in May 1993. During the demonstration several police officers were injured and at least 11 people, most of whom were reportedly bystanders, were wounded by shots fired in disputed circumstances by police in riot gear and plain clothes (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1995). In February the High Court heard the appeals of 27 civilians charged in connection with the demonstration and acquitted nine. The sentences of most of those who had been convicted in the lower court were significantly increased on appeal. Nine others, who had been arrested some distance away from the centre of the violence about an hour after it had been quelled, were convicted of participation in a grave disturbance of public peace and order. Their convictions were apparently based on their presence in the area at the time. These nine, who had been acquitted by the lower court, were sentenced to 20 days' imprisonment by the High Court. In March the conviction of a police officer, who had hit a demonstrator with a truncheon as the demonstrator was being dragged along the street by two other officers, was overturned. In May former DPP Asbjørn Jensen, who had been appointed as a Supreme Court Justice in January, published the report of his supplementary investigation into the events of May 1993. This investigation had been launched after questions had been raised about the possibility that an order to shoot at demonstrators' legs had been given. Asbjørn Jensen concluded that it could not be proved who had shouted "shoot at their legs", but reported he believed it likely that these shouts came from demonstrators. This conclusion, as well as the investigation methods used, were widely criticized and were taken up by the Parliamentary Ombudsman. In November the Parliamentary Ombudsman published preliminary findings about the investigations which included criticisms that the investigations were not independent or exhaustive, and that the criteria for some judgments made by Asbjørn Jensen in his two reports were not clear or consistent. The Minister of Justice subsequently announced his intention to initiate a further investigation into the events of May 1993, most likely to be conducted by three independent legal experts; the Ministry of Justice, however, disagreed with many of the Ombudsman's preliminary findings. In November the Minister of Justice ordered charges, which had been brought by the acting DPP against three police officers whose bullets had wounded six people, to be dropped. This decision was announced after the publication of two other reports by the Parliamentary Ombudsman about issues relating to the aftermath of the events of May 1993. In his third report, the Ombudsman criticized the multiple roles played by the office of the DPP in bringing these charges and the fact that the investigations had focused on the conduct of only some, but not all, relevant police officers. Other initiatives taken in the aftermath of the events of May 1993 included the revision of the police regulation on the use of firearms; new practices for the use of plainclothes police officers; and a decision not to equip police officers with water cannons or rubber bullets. A prosecutor's report concerning in-court investigations into allegations of police ill-treatment of a woman detained in connection with a minor non-criminal case in 1993 was published in March. The prosecutor found that no satisfactory explanation had been given for her 14-hour detention and criticized the police for not giving her any food and for confiscating her glasses. The prosecutor recommended that she be paid compensation but did not criticize the fact that she had been refused access to a doctor, despite repeated requests. The prosecutor also found that it could not be proved that the woman had been punched in the face or thrown into a cell. Following this investigation, the Ministry of Justice stated that it was revising guidelines on detainees' rights to medical treatment; to inform their families of their arrest; to be given access to a lawyer; and to be given food and drink and access to toilets. In June the Ministry of Justice paid Babading Fatty, a Gambian national who had travelled to Denmark as a tourist, initial compensation for mental and physical injuries suffered as a result of his detention and ill-treatment in 1990 (see previous Amnesty International Reports). In November the High Court considered the civil case brought on behalf of Benjamin Schou, who sustained permanent severe brain damage after suffering a heart attack in police custody on 1 January 1992 (see previous Amnesty International Reports). The court found that Benjamin Schou's injuries could have been avoided or limited if the arresting officers had paid attention to his condition and had called an ambulance, and ordered the Copenhagen police to pay compensation. Also in November, another prosecutor's report gave details of in-court investigations into allegations of ill-treatment of 11 people arrested during a 15-month police operation in Christiania, Copenhagen (see Amnesty International Reports 1994 and 1995). Eight of these cases had been cited by Amnesty International as illustrative examples of reports of police ill-treatment during this intensive police operation. The prosecutor found grounds to criticize police conduct in seven of the 11 cases investigated. The prosecutor's report stated that in all 11 cases the detainees had been handcuffed and most had complained that the handcuffs were too tight. Seven detainees had been restrained by police in some form of leg-lock. However, the prosecutor did not conclude that the alleged police ill-treatment formed a pattern. Following the publication of the prosecutor's report, the Director of Copenhagen Police stated that she would apologize to the seven people whose treatment had been criticized by the prosecutor; clarify the regulations on the use of handcuffs; and explore the availability of handcuffs which would cause less discomfort. In May Amnesty International delegates met the Minister of Justice. They welcomed the review of police self-defence methods and investigations into individual allegations of ill-treatment but expressed concern that, more than two years after the events in Nørrebro and despite the completion of a series of investigations, the exact circumstances in which police had fired shots and had wounded people had not been made public.
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