November 17, 2001

Five Initial Points of Interest Raised by the Gorleben International Peace Team (GIPT)

Following our period of observation our multi-national human rights team was particularly concerned by the following issues:

  1. Nuclear Energy and Radioactive Waste Inevitably Lead to Human Rights Violations
  2. GIPT regards the existence of the nuclear industry as the root cause of the human rights violations that we observed. Were it not for these highly subsidised corporate interests, none of the following observed human rights violations would have arisen over the past weeks. In addition, radioactive waste will have an enduring affect on human rights, civil liberties, public health and safety, and the environment in Wendland for countless human generations to come.

  3. Police Anonymity and Lack of Accountability
  4. All our observors voiced concern that the local population had no means of redress in cases of police misconduct. Individual police officers had no means of visible identification, and when asked their service number in many cases refused to give it. This limited us to taking down police car number plates, which we were told by police officers was illegal. This was of particular interest to those team members who come from countries where it is obligatory for police officers to wear their identification numbers whilst on duty. For the first time at an Anti-CASTOR demonstration there were a small minority of regular police officers who did wear identification.

  5. Use of Excessive, Violent Police Force versus Non-Violent Sit-In Demonstrators
  6. The demonstrations against this CASTOR were non-violent. Sit-in blockades have been ruled to be non-violent by the German High Court. Despite a somewhat restrained attitude by the police, this did not stop them from using baton, dog, and mounted police attacks on non-violent demonstrators.

  7. Police Playing Politics and Criminalising Demonstrators
  8. GIPT members were also alarmed by the politicisation of the police, especially as to the role of the Conflict Managers. Throughout the build-up to the CASTOR shipment, the Conflict Managers placed daily advertisments in local newspapers criticising various Anti-CASTOR groups. This goes well beyond our understanding of the proper role of the police in civil society.

    Linked with this is the gradual proccess of stigmatisation and criminalisation of the resistance in Wendland by the massive police presence and continual police harrassment.

  9. Suspension of Citizens´ Constitutional Protections in order to Serve the Interests of the Atomic Industry

At the demand of the nuclear industry, the German Government effectively suspends parts of the Grundgesetz in Wendland for the period of the CASTOR shipment. The basic human rights of freedom of movement, free assembly, free association, freedom of opinion, freedom from arbitrary detention as described in the German Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights were wilfully disregarded by the Federal and State Governments through the Police and Courts.