Anti-G8 protesters have claimed they were subjected to psychological torture by
Scottish police after they were arrested during last week's demonstrations. The
activists alleged that they were deliberately deprived of sleep and held in filthy
cells at a Glasgow police station. The police have rejected the claims, saying
their service last week was "thoroughly professional."
The activists made the allegations in a news conference outside Edinburgh Sheriff
Court. Some of their complaints concerned practices that are standard in Scotland.
Three of them were arrested in Glasgow on Friday and held in custody until Monday.
Right or wrong, there is nothing unusual in that. But they also alleged they
suffered psychological torture inside a Glasgow police station.
Dr Martin Kraemer, a protester arrested in Glasgow, said: "I got woken
up 73 times in these 4 days. Every night we had a wake-up at 2 o'clock, at 3
o'clock at 4 o'clock in the morning and these wake-ups would get more and more
Zahra Quadir, another protester arrested in Glasgow, said: "The way they
treated us, in solitary confinement, three nights, four days with no communication
with anyone. The food and the water they gave us made us sick. I was very disappointed
by the Scottish system."
In response to the allegations the Association of Chief Police Officers issued
a statement. It said that all of the officers involved in the G8 summit demonstrated
a thoroughly professional and efficient service at all times. That includes
the care in custody of those who were arrested throughout the week.
But disquiet over what happened last week is not confined to the protesters
themselves. The Scottish Human rights centre is compiling a dossier on the police
operation. John Scott from the Scottish Human Rights Centre said: "Some
people who want to complain about the police will not go to the police, and
in Scotland as we don't have an independent police authority, that's the only
choice they've got. So they may well come to us."
Just 20 formal complaints have made against the police so far - most of them
concern events in the capital last Monday.