Mass arrest was unjustified

Copenhagen, Denmark - The mass arrest of some 80 people at the Faderhuset religious sect’s property in the Copenhagen suburb of Rødovre was unjustified, according to a court ruling.

Some 80 young demonstrators were charged with disturbing the peace in connection with the demonstration, but Ritzau reports the ruling as saying that there was “no basis upon which to suspect any of those present on this charge.”

Arrested after 3 minutes

The test case before the court involved a 28-year-old woman who, with a large number of demonstrators, arrived at the Faderhuset property almost at the same time as the police. They could therefore not be suspected of having taken part in vandalism inside the property, but were arrested anyway – three minutes after arriving on the scene.

Ritzau says that the ruling opens the door for an expensive suit for damages as a result of the mass arrest.


The arrests took place in the turbulent period of 2006, when a squatters' youth house in Copenhagen, which had been purchased and demanded evacuated by the Faderhuset sect, was the object of major controversy. The property was eventually emptied and demolished amid riots and violent scenes in the capital.

The mass arrest and use of police batons at the Rødovre demonstration raised a political storm. Video sequences of the arrest showed officers pressing the demonstrators together and drawing batons that were used against standing and seated demonstrators.

A year-long investigation by the attorney-general found that the police had, in general, acted reasonably apart from a single officer’s actions in pulling the hair of a young girl, which the attorney-general found ‘humiliating’.