|    Wednesday, der 14. July 2010

More police accountability: new Amnesty International report and campaign in Germany (a film on about an a police officer who, although not guilty, falls victim to the machinations of the State Saving Privat Mikheev.)

“Nothing to Hide”: This must also be valid in Germany when the police are brought to justice for excessive use of force and other forms of mistreatment and abuse. Usually however, cases remain “perpetrator unknown”. This is also the result of the new report at Amnesty International: “Täter unbekannt – Mangelnde Aufklärung von mutmaßlichen Misshandlungen durch die Polizei in Deutschland” (perpetrator unknown – lack of clarity in cases of suspected police abuse in Germany). Reflecting similar reports on police violence in Europe, the human rights organization Amnesty International has documented that charges of abuse made against the police are often not examined thoroughly and impartially in Germany. Criminal investigations often are dragged out or come to nothing. Often lawsuits fail to result in conviction because the police officers who committed the criminal offenses cannot be identified.

Unlawful police violence is not generally systematic in Germany. Nonetheless, every case is one too many. Transparency protects human rights. This is why Amnesty International demands “More Police Accountability” in their new campaign:

Identifiability is needed. This can be brought about through mandatory individual identification of police officers. Investigation by independent inquiry. Protection through documentation. Prevention by human rights education. As is practiced in other countries too.