CPH Post


Football fans demand compensation for being 'tortured' by police

Detainees cite European human rights laws concerning degrading treatment by authorities

Football fans say they were manhandled by the cops after a Brondby-FCK clash last winter (Photo: Scanpix)

August 11, 2014

by Ray Weaver

Some 365 football fans who were detained and arrested by police following a Brøndby-FC Copenhagen football match last December are demanding compensation for treatment they say amounted to torture. If they win their case, the city could face a cost of close to 2.4 million kroner.

The ankles of nearly 500 football fans were bound with plastic strips as they were forced to sit on the ground following the match. They were not given anything to sit or lie on, nor were there allowed to urinate or rinse tear gas from their eyes and throat, according to Christian Dahl Field, the lawyer representing the fans at Copenhagen City Court today. The 365 fans are demanding 6,500 kroner each.

“I have statements from many who said they suffered dog bites and truncheon blows,” Dahl told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

“They were thrown to the ground and forced to stay there for between two and a half and three hours.”

Rocks and fireworks
Nearly 500 fans were put in so-called administrative detention following the game on December 1, after which the police escorted a large group of FCK fans from Brøndby Stadium to the train station at 21:30. 

Video footage revealed a group of about 30 Brøndby fans then rushed in from a side-road, throwing stones and fireworks at the FCK fans. The FCK fans then ran toward the Brøndby fans.

About 500 fans stood and watched. Police threw tear-gas to break up the riots, which also affected the spectators.

Everyone arrested
Audio on the video revealed that an order was given to arrest everyone, including the spectators.

“The police may only arrest those who pose a significant risk,” Dahl said.

“Anyone could see that none of the spectators posed a threat. This is grotesque and the police should pay a ‘stupid penalty’.”  

Police have admitted that the nearly 500 football fans were entitled to 2,500 kroner each for false imprisonment, but Dahl and his clients say that their treatment at the hands of the cops was so egregious that it violates torture provisions covered under European human rights laws concerning degrading treatment by authorities. They are demanding 4,000 kroner more on top of the false imprisonment compensation.

READ MORE: Brøndby moves to distance itself from unruly fans

A family affair
One in five of those detained were under 18, and many were under 15. In some cases, entire families were arrested.

A final decision in the case is expected at the end of September.

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