Denmark: Demonstrators complain about police behavior

Denmark: Demonstrators complain about police behavior

On Jan. 13th about 110 demonstrators were arrested during a pro-Gaza demonstration in
Copenhagen. Police are now facing several complaints regarding their conduct.

One which garnered national attention is the case of a Danish-Palestinian who claimed the police called him 'perker' (derogatory name for Pakistanis). According to him the agent shouted at him: 'Now sit down, or I'll sit you down by force. Do you get it, perker?! Do you get it?!' The police agent claimed in response that he said 'perle' (pearl, ie, 'gem').

The incident was put up on YouTube, Facebook groups popped up about it. Anita Ågerup Jervelund of the Danish Language Committee, says 'perle' is now at its way to becoming a slang word for 'immigrants'.

T-shirt designer Martin Sundstrøm came out with several new designs, for example this one: "I'm also a perle".

According to some experts, the agent said 'perk' [I have no idea what that means..].

The second case is of Mohammed Hamad (23), a teaching student, says he was called an ape by the police. He was also arrested in the demonstration. He told a female agent that he couldn't sit on the asphalt due an injury. She brought in a male colleague and after a short discussion he told Hamad: 'sit down, you ape! Or I'll sit you down by force!'.

According to the DRC (Documentation and Advise Center on Race Discrimination) the newest case is that a girl arrested by the police was told to take her headscarf off in order to be photographed. The girl viewed this as harassment. DRC says that there are precedents for getting an ID photo taken with a headscarf on, as long as the face is visible.

Sources: Ekstrabladet 1, 2, 3, 4; Politiken; BT (Danish), h/t Hodja

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