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Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide
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"The Hamburg police want to significantly expand their controversial search operation for alleged “rioters” and “violent criminals” on the periphery of the G20 summit in July 2017. The measure is part of a massive stepping up of state powers at home and corresponds to the plans of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Union parties (Christian Democratic Union-CDU/Christian Social Union-CSU) for coordinated policing practices across Europe.

In December, the Hamburg police had already widely published photos of alleged suspects. In an action coordinated with the tabloid Bild, they posted photos of 104 alleged rioters on the Internet. What the Hamburg police have described as “one of the largest public search operations in German history” is an unlawful, prejudicial action in which those affected are publicly pilloried without due process of law.

The search is now to be extended to other European countries, such as Spain and Italy, as Hamburg state interior minister Andy Grote (SPD) announced on 1 February. In a lengthy interview with the Hamburger Abendblatt, he threatened, “For the first time, perpetrators cannot feel safe, even months after riots took place, but are being consistently hunted down.”

See: Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide (World Socialist Web Site, link)

And: written question E-007842-17 to the European Commission by Miriam Dalli MEP (S&D group), 5 February 2017:

"The 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg saw scenes of violence between heavily armed police and activists from around Europe, including climate activists and anti-poverty campaigners, with many campaigners ending up hospitalised.

Classifying individuals as ‘Extremist Left Wing’, the police used geolocation data and facial recognition software.

At the same time, the European Court of Human Rights has found that the failure of a state to carry out effective investigations to protect its citizens, and tourists, from violent attacks is a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights — with excessive use of force by the police being specifically flagged up by the courts.

1. Has the Commission been in contact with the German authorities in order to obtain more information with regard to the allegations of excessive force used by the German police throughout the summit?

2. Is the Commission satisfied that, in view of the allegations of excessive force, Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights has not been breached?"

It will likely be some weeks before the question is answered.

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