Denmark’s High Court has upheld a ruling that Copenhagen Police acted illegally when detaining a large group of protesters at the UN COP15 Climate Summit in 2009.
The judge agreed that officers contravened the European Human Rights Convention when they rounded up thousands of demonstrators and forced them to sit handcuffed on the pavement in freezing weather.
Of the 2,000 detained in Amagerbrogade Street, 250 complained that their arrests were illegal; many were held in makeshift cells which became known as ‘Climate Prison’.
The High Court seconded the Copenhagen Municipal Court’s decision to give each complainant DKK 9,000 (EUR 1,200) in damages, while those who were found to have been subjected to particularly degrading treatment are to receive a further DKK 4,000 (EUR 540).
The police claimed they were justified in their decision as many of the protesters were apparently known trouble-makers. Despite the second ruling however, police commissioner Johan Reimann is refusing to admit they did anything wrong.
“We did what was right in the situation by taking decisive action,” Reimann said in a statement.