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Tuesday, 5 March, 2002, 20:22 GMT
'Injustice' film seen by MEPs
Jasmine Elvie, mother of Brian Douglas, who is featured in the film
Relatives have campaigned for a public inquiry
A film that focuses on deaths in UK police custody has been seen by MEPs concerned with human rights.

"Injustice", which has been the subject of legal threats by British police, was screened at the European Parliament on Tuesday.

Lawyers from the Police Federation in the UK have also demanded sections of the film be cut.

More than 1000 people have died in police custody in the UK during the last 30 years, without a single conviction, claims Jean Lambert MEP, who organised the event.

Unless we have proper measures for investigating complaints against the police, public confidence will continue to fall

Jean Lambert MEP

The screening was followed by a question and answer session, which was attended by families whose relatives feature in the film.

Mrs Lambert said it was hoped the results of discussions could lead to recommendations on the way the European Parliament could address the issues the film raises.

She said: "The UK's record on the issue leaves a lot to be desired, and unless we have proper measures for regulating and investigating complaints against the police, public confidence will continue to fall."

Myrna Simpson, whose daughter Joy Gardner died in July 1993 amid claims she been bound and gagged by police officers, said this was a step forward in seeking justice.

She said: "All these years I have been struggling to get justice for my daughter. What the police did to Joy was inhuman.

"I have campaigned endlessly and I will never stop until the officers responsible for my daughter's death are convicted for their crime."

Ken Fero, director of the film, said he welcomed the opportunity to screen it.

"Despite the best efforts of the Police Federation to suppress this film we have not been intimidated by their threats," he said.

"[These cases should be recognised] for what they are - fundamental abuses of human rights, which have resulted in loss of life at the hands of the state."


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