UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer responded to police brutality dished out to anti-lockdown protesters in Germany last weekend by warning, “Authorities are increasingly viewing their own people as an enemy.”
As we highlighted earlier in the week, Melzer, a professor of international law, made a request for eyewitnesses after footage emerged of numerous examples of people being manhandled and beaten by police in Berlin merely for expressing their right to assemble.
One clip showed a female anti-lockdown protester in Berlin being grabbed by the throat and brutally thrown to the ground by riot police, while another showed a young boy being struck in the face as he tried to come to the aid of his mother.
The response to Melzer’s request was overwhelming, with over a hundred reports of violence flooding in, leaving him with the task of “calling for clarification as well as punishment and reparation for rule violations,” reports Berliner Zeitung.
The professor says there is clearly enough evidence “for an official intervention on my part with the federal government.”
However, it was Melzer’s comments on the wider perspective of the crackdown that stirred the most interest.
After seeing similar scenes during anti-lockdown protests in European cities across the continent, as well as “police operations in demonstrations worldwide,” Melzer came to a sobering conclusion.
“Something fundamental is going wrong. In all regions of the world, the authorities are apparently increasingly viewing their own people as an enemy,” he stated.
Melzer went on to assert that it is totally unethical for police to engage in violence against the citizenry unless it is in clear self-defense.
“It is absolutely unacceptable when the police take action against defenseless demonstrators because of mere administrative offenses or civil disobedience with sometimes life-threatening violence,” he said.
The professor also noted the utter stupidity of police inflicting violence on demonstrators while claiming to do so in the name of “health protection.”
“If the police do not clearly communicate that they see themselves as friends and helpers, but rather treat their own population as an enemy, then a dangerous spiral has been set in motion: namely that the next thing is that the population will also regard the police as an enemy,” concluded Melzer.
As we previously highlighted, while authorities continue to direct police to meter out violence against protesters, Germany’s top newspaper recently profusely apologized for its fearmongering coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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