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Ilka Schröder


07. Nov 2000 CZECH REPUBLIC:

Euro MPs concerned about human rights violation at Czech IMF summit.

Text of report in English by the Czech news agency CTK

Brussels/Prague, 7th November: Fifteen deputies of the European Parliament (EP) have expressed in a letter sent to Czech President Vaclav Havel their concern over news about violations of human rights by the Czech police during demonstrations against the IMF/World Bank meetings in Prague in September.

Ilka Schroeder, a member of the German Green party, said that the Czech police had violated the rights of persons detained during the September demonstrations as well as international obligations of the Czech Republic.

The letter sent to Havel on 1st November was signed by members of the deputies' groups of the Green Party and the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left.

EP Deputy Patricia McKenn said that the discussion in the EP may result in submitting this issue at the EP plenary session.

The signatories of the letter remind that two 18-year old men detained during the demonstrations were imprisoned and their lawyers have asked Havel to grant them pardon. With regard to the inconclusive evidence the MEPs require that Havel take over the initiative aimed to release people imprisoned during the demonstrations against the IMF and the World Bank, Schroeder said.

She said that EP deputies were ready to exert pressure on the Czech Republic and the letter to Havel was only one step in this direction.

Civil Legal Observers (OPH) have collected dozens of testimonies against unlawful behaviour of police officers at especially police stations and lodged 14 complaints against unknown police officers.

The deputy director of the Interior Ministry inspection, Jiri Zabransky, said the inspection had been dealing with four cases of alleged unlawful behaviour of police officers. Police President Jiri Kolar said that the police kept record of 320 complaints against the behaviour of police officers towards detained demonstrators.

The National Office of Investigation spokeswoman said last week that the investigator had proposed to prosecute 16 out of 19 imprisoned participants in the September riots. A Dane accused of attacking a public official and a Pole accused of rioting and of attacking a public official are still held in custody.

Source: CTK news agency, Prague, in English 1649 gmt 7 Nov 00.
BBC Worldwide Monitoring/ (c) BBC 2000.



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