#NoG20: #Hamburg Bids Goodbye To the Rule of Law

Press release #13 dated 7 July 2017

On 6 July the police in Hamburg smashed the inaugural “Welcome to Hell” demonstration of more than 12,000 participants protesting against the G20 summit. In consequence, people spread throughout Hamburg, resulting in confrontations with police in several areas. The police injured so many on that day that independent medics ran out of bandages. 

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Submitted to Enough is Enough (Press release #13 dated 7 July 2017 by

According to police statements, until the evening of 7 July, 71 people had been held, though only 15 were taken into custody. To date, the fact finding committee is aware of five persons who have been detained while awaiting trial. Four of them are in custody in the Billwerder prison, and two have been presented to a judge without legal representation. By its actions, the Hamburg justice system has removed the basic grounds for a trial in accordance with the rule of law.

All those detained are initially moved to the prisoner holding facility on the Schlachthofstraße in Hamburg-Harburg. Fears expressed ahead of time were clearly justified: those detained have been tormented by the police. Their mistreatment includes not providing them with food, forcing them to sleep on unbearably hard surfaces, at times without mattresses, and refusing them access to toilets for intolerably long periods.

Furthermore, lawyers have been prevented access to their clients for hours. The police abused the situation to record personal and biometric data, delaying medical treatments, and keeping those in custody in the dark about the allegations and charges against them. Bail applications by lawyers were not processed by the evening of 7 July by the Neuland district court bench. Nevertheless, custodial judges of that court granted several of the prosecution’s applications for continued detention without trial.

Several fast track challenges of against Italian and Swiss citizens were successful. The travel bans on three persons from Switzerland were temporarily suspended. Two persons from Bologna who had been detained at the Hamburg airport have since been permitted to exit the transit area. The delaying tactics of the justice department were clearly aimed to prevent participation of those persons to the “Welcome to Hell” demonstration.

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