Ourselves, we explain our arrest somewhat differently:
we witnessed in the train how these two gendarmes - that I referred to
in De Morgen as 'Groin Grabber' and 'Short Hair' - were treating two young
North Africans in a rather intimidating way: with our presence we hoped
to prevent worse. We also made a number of remarks to each-other, in which
we commented upon and ridiculed the behaviour of the gendarmes. We believe
that, though our arrest, they wanted to punish us for our - in their view -
obstinate behaviour. The reason why Panoussis was later battered was, except
for the abovementioned, that he refused to undress for them. He told the
gendarmes that, if they thought that his trousers and shoes should be taken
off, they ought to take them off themselves: he refused to co-operate in an
illegal search that was following on top of an illegal arrest. Nevertheless,
at no time did he offer resistance.|
Our release was just as remarkable as our arrest. When Short Hair, after the battering, finally searched Panoussis' bag, he found in it a book with my name and photograph on it. He showed the book to Groin Grabber, the two spoke briefly, and a few minutes later we were told that we could leave.
- When Groin Grabber took Panoussis by the arm to the side-room were Panoussis was to be searched, it was evident by all signs (the angry voice of Groin Grabber, the manner in which Groin Grabber grabbed Panoussis, the half-dragging) that a beating was imminent. None of the gendarmes present paid any attention. They gave the clear impression that this was customary. When we finally were allowed to leave, Groin Grabber even challenged us to file a complaint. What he meant was evident: "Ah, it's only your word against mine. I can do what I want."