Swiss police investigate Briton's injury

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The Independent Online

An official investigation has been launched in Switzerland after a British protester was seriously injured during clashes with police at the G8 summit.

Martin Shaw, from Ealing, west London, is being treated for multiple fractures after falling from a bridge near Lausanne when a rope supporting him was cut by police.

Another Briton, Guy Smallman, 31, a photographer from Brixton, south London, also underwent emergency surgery after a stun grenade exploded at his feet during the demonstrations in Geneva.

Mr Shaw, 39 and an anarchist demonstrator, was among a group of 15 activists trying to hang a banner from a bridge over the river Aubonne when an officer cut the rope to let through traffic which had been held up for over an hour. Mr Shaw plunged into the shallow water below and hit the river bed. A woman linked to the other end of the rope was hauled to safety by the police.

A Swiss government statement said: "Several policemen raised the rope to allow the passage of the vehicles. At the same moment, a policeman that had not noticed the two people suspended ... cut the rope with a knife to clear the passage." It said Mr Shaw was "immediately helped, provided with medical attention, then helicopter-borne to hospital".

A district magistrate has opened an investigation into the incident and will interview police and protesters present during the incident.

Mr Shaw, an ecology and computer science graduate of Manchester University, is a veteran of the anti-capitalist demonstrations held during the World Trade Organisation's conference in Seattle in November 1999, and in London on May Day 2000, and at the World Bank meetings in Prague in September 2000.