The Democracy Research Institute has been observing the protests of political content, organized by political parties and civil movements, and the trials of the detainees since December 30.
With the exception of the December 31 rally, the protests were mostly peaceful. In two out of the 12 monitored rallies, law enforcement officers and protesters verbally confronted each other. Protesters clashed with activists of the ruling party at one of the rallies.
In some cases, the number of law enforcement officers mobilized at the demonstration was significantly higher than the number of demonstrators. Protesters' attitude towards the police was neutral. The responses of law enforcement officers were largely proportional. However, in some cases, law enforcers’ actions were chaotic, badly organized and unsubstantiated. According to the observers, in some cases, police officers acted not in accordance with law, but the instructions of their superiors, which was evident during the trials of the detained demonstrators as well. Specifically, according to the observers, at the December 31 rally, police were biased or inactive and they used excessive force, while officers of the City Hall Security Service performed police functions.
On December 31, the authorities, inter alia, used officers of the City Hall Security Service, to disperse the demonstration outside the Parliament building.
The monitoring of protests and trials showed alleged misconduct by the officers of the City Hall Security Service, in particular: they performed police functions and used force while removing protesters' tents from the Parliament area.
The following violations were identified at the trials:
- Almost all documents drawn up during the detention of protesters were identical, which may indicate that the patrol inspectors did not draw up those protocols based on factual circumstances.
- There were inconsistencies between the testimonies of patrol inspectors questioned as witnesses in the court and the actual circumstances shown in the video footage.
The Democracy Research Institute continues to monitor the protests and trials.