Topic: critical thinking , bbc

Topic: critical thinking , bbc

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In the following passage you are given some information about a situation in which there is a dispute as to what happened. Using this information, write a reasoned case in which you come to a judgement as to what did happen. In your answer you should make clear what assumptions you are making about what the participants could have seen, what motives they might have for saying what they do, what expertise they have and any other relevant factors.

The appointment of a new ambassador from a South American country provoked considerable controversy because the Ambassador had been accused by many human rights groups of having been personally involved in the torture of political opponents some years before. A demonstration against his appointment had been organised by the Anti-Fascist Alliance (AFA). However, this had provoked the group Rebirth 1933 (known otherwise as R33) to organise a counter-demonstration, welcoming the Ambassador as a ‘fighter against moral decline’.
The police had decided to let both demonstrations go ahead, but provided a very heavy presence in order to keep the two sides apart. Unfortunately, the number of demonstrators on both sides was greater than had been expected, and it became difficult to prevent violence breaking out. One of those hurt was the leader of the AFA, Fran Lee (F), who suffered serious head injuries, and had to be taken to the nearest hospital, where she remains in a coma.
The situation surrounding (F)’s injuries remains unclear. At the time that she was injured, she was being restrained by a policeman (P) who claims she was hit by a ‘rock’ which also struck his helmet and which was thrown from a group of R33 demonstrators. Furthermore, (P) insists that he was one of a group of police who were trying to ensure that she did not get attacked by some R33 members who had got very close to her. On the other hand, a well-known lawyer and human-rights activist (A), who as with her at the time, claims that (F) was injured by the police, especially (P), using their batons with unreasonable force against her and other AFA members. A TV news crew (N), whose camera was damaged in the melee, said that they had filmed several police using their batons heavily on (F) and other AFA members just before she was grabbed by (P). Though R33 leaders deny that she was hit by something thrown by one of their supporters, an R33 member (M), who refused to be identified, boasted in an interview to the BBC of having ‘split Lee’s head with a brick’. Another witness, a Dutch tourist (D), who had taken shelter from the violence in a doorway, says she certainly saw police using their batons strongly to try to separate people, but she did not see any missiles being thrown. A hospital spokesperson (H) said, ‘Frances Lee sustained a fractured skull which appears to have been caused by at least one very severe blow to the head

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