Abu Dhabi


New York

Wed, 22 Jan 2020 13:34 GMT

Austrian Prosecutors Investigate Alleged Climate Protest Arrest Violence


7Dnews London

Wed, 05 Jun 2019 20:27 GMT

Austrian prosecutors said on Wednesday, June 5th, they were investigating four police officers over allegedly using excessive force while arresting climate protestors at a demonstration last week.

On Friday, May 31st, thousands joined a climate rally, which was also attended by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. 

After the main rally, some activists, reportedly from Austria and Germany, blocked one of Vienna's main roads, leading to 92 arrests, according to AFP. 

Videos that went viral after the demonstration show a police offer hitting a protester who had been pinned to the ground, and a police van almost running over the head of another man while he was being restrained by officers. 

The Vienna prosecutors' office said it was investigating four police officers for a range of alleged offences including "grievous bodily harm" and promised a "quick and objective probe into the different accusations". 

Five witnesses had been questioned as part of the inquiry, it added in a statement. 

The Vienna police department said on Tuesday, June 4th, it was probing the allegations, with one officer concerned having been removed from street patrols. 

However, it described some of the allegations levelled at police as "absurd" and insisted that "officers had to use force to make the arrests". 

A demonstration against police brutality has been called for Thursday, June 6th.