A United Nations official has slammed the ‘savagery’ of officers during a 2021 lockdown protest in the Netherlands, prompting Dutch police unions to complain to the UN.
Controversy has emerged after a UN official slammed the ‘savagery’ of Dutch police in a video taken during a protest in March of last year, which he highlighted on Monday.
Nils Melzer — a Swiss practitioner of International Law, as well as the UN Rapporteur on Torture — described the actions of officers, who can be seen repeatedly beating a man on the ground in the video, as “police brutality”. Dutch police have confirmed the event took place.
“This is one of the most disgusting scenes of Police Brutality I have seen since George Floyd!” the UN official wrote. “These officers & their superiors must be prosecuted for the crime of torture!”
➡️This is one of the most disgusting scenes of #PoliceBrutality I have seen since #GeorgeFloyd!
➡️These officers & their superiors must be prosecuted for the crime of #torture!
➡️THIS SAVAGERY MUST STOP HERE & NOW!
➡️I will send an official protest note shortly! https://t.co/GdGwRlDNup
— Nils Melzer (@NilsMelzer) January 3, 2022
Attached to Prof. Melzer’s post was a video taken during a protest in the Hague last year.
Footage of the incident uploaded to the net on Monday has since garnered nearly one million views.
Police Unions in the Netherlands have condemned the international law professor’s post according to a report by De Telegraaf, saying that Melzer failed to take in the context of the incident.
I thank @POL_DenHaag for promptly confirming that two officers involved in this particularly grave instance of #PoliceBrutality are indeed being prosecuted as required by the #ConventionAgainstTorture. https://t.co/sBX4hXpweH pic.twitter.com/z26YBf2nis
— Nils Melzer (@NilsMelzer) January 5, 2022
“The police find it disappointing that UN rapporteur Nils Melzer makes such firm statements based on a few images, without taking note of the context,” reads a statement from the Hague Police. “The Netherlands has a constitutional state where police acts in which force is used is measured. That also happened at the performance on March 14 last year in The Hague.”
The statement from the account also says that Melzer should await the result of the prosecution of two officers involved in the protests before commenting.
“The Public Prosecution Service has decided to prosecute two officers who did their work under extremely difficult circumstances,” the statement read. “It is important to first await the judgment of the independent judge in this case.”
A separate statement from the prosecutor’s office published in December states that the man beaten by the officers suffered “several injuries”, specifically listing injuries to the man’s head, as well as a bite wound from a police dog.
Prof. Melzer responded to the post, thanking the account for confirming that two officers were “being prosecuted” “as required by the Convention Against Torture”. Writing on Wednesday, Melzer followed up that: “I will now engage with [The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and] other stakeholders through official channels in order to identify the systemic factors & personal responsibilities that have enabled this & other more recent transgressions & to press for a declared policy of zero-tolerance for police brutality.”
De Telegraaf also reports that unions have written to the UN with an official complaint regarding Prof. Melzer’s messages.
WATCH: Police Set Dog on Lockdown Protestor in Amsterdam, Beat Demonstrators with Batonshttps://t.co/v82oO3Ji82
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 2, 2022
The controversy surrounding the alleged instance of police brutality follows the emergence of a similar video taken during a protest in Amsterdam on Sunday.
Footage from the demonstration shows protesters being beaten with batons by police, while one man on the ground is set upon by a police dog.
One copy of the video uploaded online has reached 11 million views.
Thousands of people had gathered from across Europe to protest gathered to protest Lockdown restrictions, despite the demonstration being banned by authorities the previous week.
Speaking to Breitbart London, Romanian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Cristian Terhes of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, criticised the actions of the Dutch police during the protest.
“The Dutch state should respect people’s freedoms rather than get out police truncheons,” said Terhes, who addressed those gathered in the city on Sunday.
“I grew up under Communism behind the Iron Curtain in Romania and I am now alarmed to experience the sharp loss of freedom and the Iron Fist of the Big State in Western Europe.”