Karin Spaink
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1018 LP Amsterdam
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fax: 020 - xxxxxxx
e-mail: kspaink@xs4all.nl

Amsterdam, 3 September 1998

      To the Permanent Commitee of Control of the Police Forces,
      to the attention of Mr George Peijl,
      Wetstraat 50 - 52
      1040 Brussel

Honourable members of the Committee

I regret that I feel obliged to file a complaint with you against the gendarmerie in Antwerp. Earlier this week I wrote about this affair in de Morgen.

On Saturday 29 August shortly after 18.30 h, Zenon Panoussis and myself were arrested by the gendarmerie of Antwerp on illegal grounds just after we had left the train from Amsterdam and were walking on the platform. We were thereafter lead to a side-room of the train station, where - after a short argument between a gendarme on one side and Zenon Panoussis and myself on the other - Panoussis was taken to a separate room. There, he was battered by two gendarmes in the presence of a third one. He was beaten in the face and on the body, he was kicked on the body, someone stepped with one foot on his chest and someone with one foot on his throat. A visit to the GP on Thursday morning showed that he now has a broken rib.
   No protocol was made over our arrest, and neither were we informed of the reasons why we were arrested. Yet less was Panoussis informed why he had to be searched and was ordered to undress himself. Only after he was battered was Panoussis informed that our arrest was based on 'disturbance of the peace'. I myself was never given a reason. It is remarkable that neither of the two gendarmes that were involved in our arrest had ordered us before the arrest to do or abstain from doing anything because our behaviour was disturbing the peace; neither did they inform us that persisting in our behaviour would lead to our arrest.