There were further allegations of ill-treatment of detainees by police officers. In February, the results of a study, The Police and Foreigners, commissioned by the ministers of internal affairs of the 16 German federal states, were published. The report concluded that the problem of police abuse of foreign nationals concerned more than "just a few isolated incidents". A similar conclusion reached by Amnesty International in its May 1995 report, Germany: Failed by the system – police ill-treatment of foreigners, had been rejected at the time by the German authorities (see Amnesty International Report 1996). In November, the UN Human Rights Committee met to consider Germany's fourth periodic report on its compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In its concluding remarks the Committee expressed its concern at "instances of ill-treatment of persons by the police". The Committee also criticized the lack of any "truly independent mechanism for investigating [such] complaints" and recommended the establishment of "independent bodies" for this purpose. There were further allegations of police ill-treatment of foreign nationals, including asylum-seekers, and members of ethnic minorities. Ahmet Delibas, a Turkish national, alleged that two police officers repeatedly punched him in the face while in the back of a police car following his arrest outside a club in Hamm in North-Rhine/Westphalia in October 1995. According to witnesses, Ahmet Delibas showed no signs of injury when he was placed in the car with his hands secured behind his back. The detainee himself reported that when he arrived at the police station he was so dazed that he was unable to walk. Medical evidence showed that Ahmet Delibas had suffered serious injuries to his face, including a fractured cheek-bone, and separate fractures to both eye-sockets. He later underwent two operations on his face. In August, two officers were charged with assaulting Ahmet Delibas. In January, Mohamed Z., a Moroccan citizen, alleged that a police officer punched and kicked him and struck him on the head with his torch after stopping him in central Frankfurt. Mohamed Z. was arrested and taken to a police station where, according to the detainee, the same officer placed him in a cell, made him undress and kicked him in front of two other officers. According to medical evidence Mohamed Z.'s injuries included multiple bruising and cuts to his head which required stitches. The police authorities brought a complaint against Mohamed Z. for resisting state authority. Aliu B., a 16-year-old asylum-seeker from Sierra Leone, alleged that he was slapped by police officers and by a police doctor following his arrest at Bremen railway station in April. He was taken to a police station, where, he alleged, two officers held him down while the doctor forced a tube into his nose in order to administer an emetic. Aliu B.'s nose began to bleed and he was violently sick. After being made to wipe up his vomit he was reportedly thrown out of the station and collapsed in the station yard. Amnesty International believes that the forcible administration of emetics to detainees for non-medical reasons amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. In July, Mustafa K., a German national of Turkish origin, alleged that he was beaten, kicked and subjected to racist insults when he protested to Berlin police officers searching his flat. Medical reports recorded that Mustafa K. had suffered multiple bruising of the face and body, abrasions and vomiting. The police officers involved issued a complaint against Mustafa K. for attempted assault and resisting state authority. In February, Mathias Brettner was tried on charges of offering for sale copies of the document "Police officers who make you vomit". In the document the Bremen-based non-governmental organization Anti-Racism Office accused the Bremen police of racist practices, including the physical ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest of blacks. Mathias Brettner was charged under section 130 ("Incitement of the people") of the German Criminal Code, which carries a penalty of up to five years' imprisonment. He was found guilty and fined. In September, his conviction was overturned on appeal. Decisions were reached by prosecuting and judicial authorities on a number of cases of alleged ill-treatment by police in previous years. In January, the Bremen authorities rejected a number of complaints of ill-treatment brought by black African detainees against Bremen police officers and doctors (see Amnesty International Report 1996). The detainees had alleged that they were forcibly given emetics, verbally threatened or physically ill-treated when they refused to cooperate, and subjected to racist abuse. In January, a Berlin court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convict two officers charged with ill-treating Vietnamese asylum-seeker Nguyen T. in June 1994 (see Amnesty International Report 1996). In February, a court acquitted three officers of ill-treating Lutz Priebe in a Hamburg police station in August 1989. The court concluded that it was no longer possible to clarify what had actually happened almost six and a half years after the event (see Amnesty International Report 1996). Also in February, Hidayet Secil's complaint of police ill-treatment was rejected by the Baden-Württemberg authorities (see Amnesty International Report 1996). A subsequent appeal against the authorities' decision and a request for a judicial review of it were both denied. In May and June, two Hamburg police officers were tried on charges of assaulting Oliver Neß, a journalist, at a demonstration which he was covering in May 1994 (see previous Amnesty International Reports). Oliver Neß had alleged that officers hit him repeatedly in the kidneys, pelvis and chest with their batons and deliberately and violently twisted his foot while he was on the ground. Oliver Neß's injuries included multiple bruises and abrasions and torn ankle ligaments. In its findings the court rejected one of the accused officer's claims that Oliver Neß had been an "agitator" at the demonstration, and established that the officer had threatened the journalist and violently brought him to the ground in order to "teach a lesson" to demonstrators. The second officer who, according to the court's findings, had twisted Oliver Neß's foot in an effort to turn him over onto his back, was found guilty of causing bodily harm to the detainee through negligence. Both officers were fined. The court was unable to attribute any of Oliver Ne›'s other injuries to the actions of either officer. In July, the highest court in the federal state of Berlin ordered a retrial of three police officers accused of assaulting Iranian student Habib J. in December 1992 (see Amnesty International Report 1996). The officers had been found guilty of the offence in September 1994 but their convictions had been overturned on appeal. In ordering a retrial the Higher Regional Court described the appeal court's findings as "contradictory and full of holes". Throughout the year Amnesty International expressed concern to the authorities about fresh allegations of ill-treatment brought to its attention and called for them to be investigated promptly, impartially and thoroughly. In most cases the organization received confirmation from the authorities that investigations were in progress. In February, Amnesty International expressed concern to the Bremen authorities that the prosecution of Mathias Brettner was inconsistent with Germany's obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, both of which instruments guarantee the right to freedom of expression. The organization informed the authorities that if Mathias Brettner was imprisoned for offering the document "Police officers who make you vomit" for sale, Amnesty International would adopt him as a prisoner of conscience and would call for his immediate and unconditional release. In March, the Bremen Ministry of Justice described Amnesty International's action as "outrageous". Also in March, Amnesty International expressed concern to the Baden-Württemberg authorities that the investigation into Hidayet Secil's alleged ill-treatment may not have been impartial, in contravention of Article 12 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The organization's criticism was rejected by the authorities the same month. In May, Amnesty International expressed concern to the Bremen authorities that some of the complaints of ill-treatment which had been rejected by the prosecuting authorities the previous month did not appear to have been investigated thoroughly and impartially. In July, Amnesty International was informed that two investigations which the organization had criticized had been reopened following appeals by the complainants. In February, Amnesty International published a report, Federal Republic of Germany: The alleged ill-treatment of foreigners – an update to the May 1995 report.

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