Federal Republic of Germany: Failed by the system: police ill-treatment of foreigners (includes correction)
During the period January 1992-March 1995, AI received over 70 reports which alleged that German police officers had used excessive or unwarranted force in restraining or arresting people, or had deliberately ill-treated detainees in their custody. In all but a handful of these cases, the victims were foreign nationals, including refugees, asylum-seekers and members of ethnic minorities. In many cases, the ill-treatment appears to have been racially motivated. Over half of all cases have involved officers of the Berlin police force. In this report, AI examines the nature and extent of alleged police ill-treatment and discusses the rights of police detainees. The report also examines in detail procedures for investigating complaints against the police and concludes that these have not been effective in preventing ill-treatment. AI calls on the German authorities, at national and regional level, to acknowledge the existence of a clear pattern of police ill-treatment of foreigners and members of ethnic minorities and to take the necessary steps to combat this problem.