Main Menu
Human Trafficking
Street Children

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                            

Federal Republic of Germany

The authorities continued to fail to address obstacles preventing effective investigation of allegations of ill-treatment by police.

No federal state established an independent police complaints body to investigate allegations of serious human rights violations by police.

[Amnesty International Report 2014/15 - Germany]

Description: Description: Germany

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Germany.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee says Germany needs to ensure better treatment of foreign nationals being removed by air

Executive Summary, 9 May 2019

[accessed 1 June 2020]

As  regards  immigration  detainees  placed  in  a  security  cell,  the  CPT  once  again  calls  on  the competent  authorities  to  abolish  the  prohibition  of  outdoor  exercise  as  a  special  security  measure and recommends that these detainees be offered at least one hour of outdoor exercise per day. They should also be allowed to make phone calls and receive visits.  Further,  the  privacy  of  detainees under video surveillance in these security cells should be guaranteed, e.g. by pixelating the image of the  toilet  area  on  the  CCTV  monitoring  screens.  In  addition,  more  effective  self-harm  and  suicide prevention measures  for  vulnerable detainees should be put in place, by  increasing the availability of psycho-social support and enhancing contact with the outside world.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Germany

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 21 July 2021]


The constitution and the law prohibit such practices, but there were a few reports that government officials employed them. According to some human rights groups, authorities did not effectively investigate allegations of mistreatment by police and failed to establish an independent mechanism to investigate such allegations. The 2019 interim report of a continuing study by researchers at the University of Bochum estimated police used excessive force in 12,000 cases annually, of which authorities investigated approximately 2,000. Investigations were discontinued in 90 percent of the cases, and officers were formally charged in approximately 2 percent of the cases. Less than 1 percent of the cases resulted in conviction of the accused officer.


Independent Monitoring: The government permitted monitoring by independent nongovernmental observers.


Authorities must have a warrant issued by a judicial authority to arrest an individual. Police may also arrest individuals they apprehend in the act of committing a crime, or if they have strong reason to suspect the individual intends to commit a crime.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 12 May 2020]


Attacks on refugee housing were less prominent in 2017 than in the two preceding years, which each saw around 1,000 such attacks. However, 93 attacks occurred in the first quarter of 2017.

Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2014/15 - Germany

Amnesty International AI, 25 February 2015

[accessed 19 May 2019]


The authorities continued to fail to address obstacles preventing effective investigation of allegations of ill-treatment by police. No federal state established an independent police complaints body to investigate allegations of serious human rights violations by police. Except for the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg, police officers remained under no legal obligation to wear identity badges. Police officers in Brandenburg were due to start wearing identification badges in January 2013.

The National Agency for the Prevention of Torture, Germany’s national preventive mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, remained severely under-resourced and unable to fulfil its functions, including regular visits to detention sites. Its chairperson and another member resigned in August over the lack of resources.

Investigations continued into excessive use of force by police during a demonstration in Stuttgart in September 2010. In October, the Stuttgart local court found one police officer guilty of physical assault, for hitting a protester with a baton, and issued him with an eight-month suspended prison sentence.

On 10 October, the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court confirmed the Frankfurt Regional Court judgement of 4 August 2011, which had awarded moral damages worth €3,000 to Markus Gäfgen. He was threatened by two police officers with intolerable pain in 2002 as he was apprehended on suspicion of kidnapping an 11-year-old boy. The first instance court had qualified the threat as “inhuman treatment” under the European Convention on Human Rights.

On 13 December, Magdeburg regional court convicted a police officer of negligent homicide for the death of asylum-seeker Oury Jalloh, who burned to death in a cell in Dessau police station in 2005. Despite lengthy legal proceedings, the circumstances of Oury Jalloh’s death and the degree of police involvement in it were still not clarified.


Germany did not codify enforced disappearance as a criminal offence, as required by the International Convention against enforced disappearance.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/DEU/CO/5 (2011)

[accessed 27 February 2013]

C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations Definition and criminalization of torture

9. The Committee welcomes the State party’s Code of Crimes against International Law which codifies, inter alia, crimes of torture in the context of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity, in accordance with article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. However, the Committee expresses serious concern at the absence of provisions adequately criminalizing acts of torture in the context of general criminal law, as the application of provisions of the Criminal Code (including sect. 340, para. 1, in conjunction with sect. 224) and the Military Penal Code (sects. 30 and 31) do not adequately punish the infliction of pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, as required by article 1 of the Convention. Moreover, while noting the data on investigations into alleged offences by law enforcement officers, the Committee regrets the absence of clarity regarding which of the allegations of ill-treatment by public officials, if proven true, would amount to torture under article 1 of the Convention or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under article 16 of the Convention (arts. 1 and 4).

The State party should include torture as a specific offence in its general criminal law and ensure that its definition encompasses all the elements of article 1 of the Convention. In accordance with the Committee’s general comment No. 2 (2007) on implementation of article 2 by States parties, the State party should also clarify which of the incidents of ill-treatment by law enforcement officers reported in the State party’s response to the list of issues amount to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in order to help the State party identify how and where the Convention is implemented and the monitoring thereof by the Committee.

10. The Committee notes with concern that the State party has no specific information on cases in which the Convention has been invoked and directly applied before the domestic courts (arts. 2 and 10).

The Committee recommends that the State party take steps to disseminate the Convention to all public authorities, including the judiciary, thus facilitating direct application of the Convention before domestic courts, both at the federal and Lander level, and that it provide an update on illustrative cases in its next periodic report.

“No Questions Asked” - Intelligence Cooperation with Countries that Torture

Human Rights Watch, June 29, 2010 -- ISBN: 1-56432-650-0

Download the full report at

[accessed 28 January 2013]

The 62-page report analyzes the ongoing cooperation by the governments of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom with foreign intelligence services in countries that routinely use torture. The three governments use the resulting foreign torture information for intelligence and policing purposes.


For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

[accessed 1 January 1, 2019]

Scroll Down


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 28 January 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices, and these prohibitions were generally followed. The government investigated a number of abuses committed in previous years and prosecuted police who mistreated persons in custody.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1   Civil Liberties: 1   Status: Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 28 January 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 12 May 2020]

The judiciary is independent, and the rule of law prevails. The Federal Constitutional Court vets the compatibility of legislation with the basic law. In addition to having its own provisions, Germany is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights. Prison conditions are adequate, though the Council of Europe has criticized the practice of preliminary detention before formal arrest; people so detained may not contact a lawyer or family members.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. 

Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Germany",, [accessed <date>]