UN Rapporteur Nils Melzer: “The Netherlands is Violating the Anti-torture Treaty” [VIDEOS]

ER Editor: Readers may also be interested in this January 2022 report from the NL Times (strong MSM alert) on the topic of Dutch police violence during the anti-lockdown protests. See UN rapporteur alleges police brutality during Dutch coronavirus protests. Here is a tweet from Melzer contained in that news report:

Here is Melzer’s latest tweet on the topic:

Some reminders

Video no. 3 shows the young woman being slammed against a structure by a water cannon. Apparently, she had a fractured skull and today, no responsibility has been taken by the Dutch police.


UN rapporteur: “The Netherlands is violating the anti-torture treaty”

Overwhelming conviction of police brutality against protesters


Rotterdam – June 8, 2022 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Nilz Melzer, in his letter of March 29, 2022, condemns in clear terms the excessive police brutality against peaceful demonstrators. He also criticizes the lack of criminal and disciplinary sanctions against the perpetrators and responsible authorities.


Melzer started the investigation after images from the Netherlands repeatedly went viral on social media worldwide last year of participants in protests against the corona measures who suffered serious injuries due to the use of aggressive police dogs, police horses and batons. The Special Envoy investigated five concrete incidents and concluded that both the structural violence and the lack of effective measures to prevent future violations are in violation of the Dutch obligations under the Anti-Torture Convention.

Skull fracture

In one case, a girl suffered a fractured skull from a water cannon. Despite the serious injuries, the police subsequently withheld medical attention from the victim. According to Melzer, this is not only a serious neglect of duty, but also a criminal offense for all police officers present. The Special Rapporteur denounces the judgment of the Police Review Committee that this act was “professional” and that a disciplinary investigation was therefore unnecessary.


None of the cases examined resulted in criminal or disciplinary action and clear public condemnation. According to Melzer, this can be interpreted as a license for excessive police brutality. The letter emphasizes that according to the anti-torture treaty, the Netherlands is obliged to prosecute not only the direct perpetrators but also the police commanders and other authorities who bear responsibility for the crimes committed by inciting, consenting or by tolerating the violence and asks for an explanation as to why this is the case. so far failed to materialize. This also applies to other officers who were on the scene and did not intervene.


The Netherlands should inform the Special Rapporteur about the steps it is taking to make clear at every level within the organization that there is a ‘zero tolerance’ towards excessive police violence or explain how the lack of such violence is consistent with its international obligations. The police equipment must also be provided with clear numbers to identify the perpetrators. Melzer points out that the Netherlands did not provide any clarification on important questions and urges that they do so after all.


The conviction is an alarm signal about the loss of the Dutch constitutional state. The administration, politics, the media, but also the judiciary failed to protect peaceful demonstrators. It is striking that this conviction for violation of the anti-torture convention receives little public attention. In order to restore confidence, the responsible office holders will still have to be immediately suspended and criminally prosecuted. A parliamentary investigation should also follow into how this excessive violence against peaceful demonstrators was possible and what role the cabinet and the NCTV played in this.

Download report rapporteur 29 March 2022:

Report Melzer UN Torture Convention
Report Melzer UN Torture Convention, translated into Dutch


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