Oct 05, 2015

Tibet: Investigation into Suppression of 2012 Danish Protests

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk @Flickr 


The Copenhagen Police is under investigation for allegedly trying to keep protesters out of Chinese President’s sight during his visit of Denmark in 2012. On that occasion, the police had suppressed a pacific protest calling for the respect of fundamental rights in Tibet and an activist had been detained for an hour and forced to put a Tibetan flag down.

Below is an article published by The Local DK:

Copenhagen Police are under renewed scrutiny for suppressing demonstrations during a Chinese state visit in 2012 and will now face a formal enquiry.

The Eastern High Court last week ruled in favour of a plaintiff who claimed he was unlawfully detained by Copenhagen Police during a state visit by then Chinese President Hu Jintao in June 2012.

A number of Danes used the Chinese president’s visit to express their support for Tibet, but police were accused of attempting to save face and keep activists out of President Hu's sight by stopping the demonstrations.

The police actions were the centre of considerable controversy at the time and a legal battle has continued to play out in the court system over the activists’ contention that police acted illegally. 

In the Eastern High Court last week, audio files and witness testimony contradicted the official police version of events and the court ruled that one activist was unlawfully detained for an hour as officers forced him to put down his Tibetan flag. 

A police officer subsequently spoke out to say that he was "shocked” to hear Copenhagen Police say that it had been unable to identify the involved officers, as he himself was one of them. 

“I was rather shocked to hear about how they were looking for us. We have been identified, we have said that it was us and I went to an interview about the case in March,” the officer told police trade magazine Dansk Politi.

On Monday, Copenhagen Police conceded that the court proceedings “raised doubts” about their own story and announced that it would ask the Independent Police Complaints Authority (Den Uafhængige Politiklagemyndighed) to look into the three-year-old case. 

“As there is have been questions publicly raised about false explanations and incomplete information regarding the identification of police officers, I have today decided to refer the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Authority,” Commissioner Thorkild Fogde said in a statement. 

Justice Minister Søren Pind has also asked Copenhagen Police to account for their actions during the Chinese state visit.