Green MEP manhandled at Malmö

Series Title
Series Details Vol 7, No.17, 26.4.01, p3
Publication Date 26/04/2001
Content Type

Date: 26/04/01

AN MEP has asked Parliament President Nicole Fontaine to investigate a breach of his parliamentary immunity after he was allegedly mistreated by Swedish police at a protest during a meeting of finance ministers in Malmö.

Swedish Green Per Gahrton says he was manhandled and arrested by police at the demonstration against the European single currency on Saturday, in breach of the special protection he is entitled to as an MEP and despite the event being lawfully held.

"When I from the start made reference to my position as a member of the European Parliament this was answered with a scornful laugh from the police," he said.

Gahrton has now written to Fontaine asking for her to investigate whether his parliamentary immunity was abused.

"I took part in a political demonstration with a legal permit, which is part of my obligations as member of the European Parliament, and conducted no unlawful acts whatsoever," he said."In spite of this I was arrested, held by two police officers who gripped my hands behind my back, bodily searched, deprived of the content of my pockets, taken to a cellar of a police station in the outskirts of the town where I was interrogated and had my photo taken."

Gahrton was released later the same day but he says he was given no apology for the way he was treated.

"No excuse for the obvious encroachment on my political right to freedom of demonstration was given," he said.

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