"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Denmark approves new police powers ahead of Copenhagen

The Danish parliament today passed legislation which will give police sweeping powers of "pre-emptive" arrest and extend custodial sentences for acts of civil disobedience. The "deeply worrying" law comes ahead of the UN climate talks which start on 7 December and are expected to attract thousands of activists from next week.
Under the new powers, Danish police will be able to detain people for up to 12 hours whom they suspect might break the law in the near future. Protesters could also be jailed for 40 days under the hurriedly drafted legislation dubbed by activists as the "turmoil and riot" law. The law was first announced on 18 October.
The Danish ministry of justice said that the new powers of "pre-emptive" detention would increase from 6 to 12 hours and apply to international activists. If protesters are charged with hindering the police, the penalty will increase from a fine to 40 days in prison. Protesters can also be fined an increased amount of 5,000 krona (671 Euros) for breach of the peace, disorderly behaviour and remaining after the police have broken up a demonstration.
The Danish police also separately issued a statement in August (pdf) applying new rules and regulations for protests at the climate conference, warning that "gatherings that may disturb the public order must not take place"...
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Picture Left:AVAAZ activists during the Meeting on Climate Change in Barcelona, earlier this month.(Photograph: Toni Albir/EPA)

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