To the European Commissioner, the Commission and the Human Rights commission of the European Parliament:
Having regard to the absence of European legislation concerning police forces;
having regard to the situation created by the increase in social and political dissent leading to the resort by member states of the EU to the repression, often characterized by violence beyond the limits permitted by the law, of these demonstrations of social discontentment and the impunity of action of police officers because of the lack of visible identification on their uniforms;
having regard to the necessity of fighting against the criminality within police forces and their political and administrative superiors; having regard to the absence in internal legislations of the possibility of sanctioning those responsible for the lack of identification on police uniforms, even when the law of the state requires them to;
having regard that the obligation of identification aims at avoiding the impunity of police actions contrary to the free exercise of fundamental rights of citizens of the Union – freedom of assembly, of demonstration, free movement in security without any violation of one’s rights- as are contained in the Charter, in treaties and conventions;
having regard that the absence or deficiency in the definition of material acts and their limits represents an infringement of the principle of legality in criminal law, which demands that every infraction be defined with sufficient precision for anybody to know when he/she adopts or detects a criminally relevant behavior,
In view of the necessity to obtain the maximum public security for the exercise of fundamental rights by citizens;
in view of the different legislations in the member states;
in view that member states do not follow the obligations imposed in their own internal laws compelling visible identification on all police uniforms;
in view that certain states have announced the adoption of measures in this domain which have finally not lead to any result;
in view of the resolution of the European Parliament of the 12th December 2012 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2010-2011) and specifically on the general recommendation nr. 192: «Expresses concern about the instances of police in the EU using disproportionate force at public events and demonstrations; calls on the Member States to ensure that the democratic and judicial oversight of law enforcement agencies and personnel is strengthened, that accountability is ensured and that impunity has no place in Europe, especially with regard to disproportionate use of force or acts of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment; calls on the Member States to ensure that police personnel carry an identification number;»
Thus, the signatories call on the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union to take the necessary steps and introduce a debate aiming at adopting a directive or framework decision in this matter and give a response to the problem of the visible identification of police officers. The aim being to avoid the violation of fundamental rights, safeguard the rights of the defense, the independence of judicial power and its role of control as well as to banish from everyday life the impunity of criminal actions of police officers and their administrative and political superiors with the following criteria:
I.- The general obligation of identification on the uniforms of all police forces.
II.- Simple and clear visibility of identifications, based upon precise dimensions and specifications.
III.- The establishment of an obligation for all police officers to identify themselves at the demand of a citizen.
IV.- A clear system of sanctions for offenders
EDL – European Democratic Lawyers