BHHRG

About BHHRG

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions

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The Legacy of the Gothenburg Summit Riots (June, 2001)
HITS: 1763 | 30-10-2002, 05:06 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Sweden , Politics, Global Events

Sweden’s image as a peaceful law-abiding society was shattered by the world-wide broadcast of riots at the combined EU and EU-US summit in Gothenburg in June, 2001. The scenes of vandalism and the resort to firearms by the Swedish police were sharp breaks with tradition.
The Group’s observers heard claims that the police had doctored video tape evidence by overlaying the film track of defendants clashing with the police with another soundtrack which gave the impression that the crowds around him were chanting aggressive slogans. Several people made this point independently. A defense lawyer suggested that since the opening of the trial of one of his German clients had been prefaced by the playing of the videotape in which the defendant did not appear, that this unprecedented use of audio-visual material in a Swedish court had the effect of creating an emotive atmosphere prejudicial to all defendants, even those not featured on the film or soundtrack.

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