Home » Politics
USA: Rights Groups Call for the Protection of Peaceful Protesters ahead of November 3rd General Election
Category :- Politics Author :- L J KINGAH 
Posted on October 21, 2020, 12:00 am
(29 Ratings)

Ahead of the November 3rd, general election in the United States of America –USA, some five international human rights organizations have urged the City and state officials to review their laws, policies, and practices to ensure that they protect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

The information is contained in letters to over 3,500 mayors and city council members as well as to all governors throughout the country. The rights groups constituted of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International-USA, Physicians for Human Rights and Human Rights First are calling for the prevention of a repetition of recent abuses by law enforcement against overwhelmingly peaceful protests opposing systemic racism and police violence.

USA: Rights Groups Call for the Protection of Peaceful Protesters ahead of November 3rd General Elections

The executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth said, “The United States holds itself out as a rights-respecting nation that others can look up to, but the police abuses against peaceful protesters this summer were nothing to be proud of.”

He added that besides violating the rights of people at home, police abuses equally undermine the US government’s ability to promote respect for rights abroad. “When law enforcement officers in the United States commit abuses, they not only violate the rights of people at home but also undermine the US government’s ability to promote respect for rights abroad.” Roth said.

According to him, “The freedom of peaceful assembly is a cornerstone of democratic governance and the human rights standards the United States has helped to shape.” He added that, “City and state officials have an obligation under domestic and international law to enable peaceful assembly and ensure that law enforcement officers are trained to protect that right.”

USA: Rights Groups Call for the Protection of Peaceful Protesters ahead of November 3rd General Elections

Between May and September, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in many locations across the USA repeatedly interfered with the right of peaceful assembly, resorted to excessive use of force, mass arbitrary arrests, the organizations have documented. The excessive force against protesters include beating protesters, misusing tear gas and pepper spray, and inappropriately and at times indiscriminately firing less-lethal projectiles, the document revealed.

Bob Goodfellow, interim executive director of Amnesty International-USA said, “This summer, police in city after city committed widespread and egregious human rights violations against people protesting the unlawful killings of Black people,”

 “Rather than being a necessary and proportionate response to any specific threat, the use of force became a matter of first resort for any form of resistance, or to enforce a hastily imposed curfew, to end an ongoing demonstration – or clear a park for a photo op. Real, systemic and lasting police reform and oversight is needed at all levels to ensure that people across the country feel safe to walk the streets and express their opinions freely and peacefully without facing a real threat of harm from the very officers that are supposed to protect them.” Amnesty International-USA found.

USA: Rights Groups Call for the Protection of Peaceful Protesters ahead of November 3rd General Elections

To the executive director of Physicians for Human Rights, Donna McKay on his part said the “So-called ‘less lethal weapons’ can cause severe injury, disability, and death, particularly when used in the reckless and excessive ways we’ve seen from law enforcement agencies around the country in recent months…In cities across the United States, protesters suffered fractured skulls, broken jaws, traumatic brain injuries, and permanent vision loss. The misuse of crowd-control weapons poses a profound threat to the human body and to our democracy.”

The Center for Civilians in Conflict-CIVIC in a separate letter to governors, cautions against the deployment of forces without adequate training in crowd control especially those from the National Guard to protests.

Frederic Borello, executive director of CIVIC said, “Military units are generally ill-trained and ill-equipped to manage demonstrations, and their mobilization in such contexts should be avoided,” To him, “If necessary, governors should only utilize forces that are trained and equipped to comply with obligations under international human rights law, notably to protect the rights to peaceful assembly and free expression, and avoid excessive use of force. All forces responding to protests should be concerned, first and foremost, with the protection of human lives and civil liberties.”

USA: Rights Groups Call for the Protection of Peaceful Protesters ahead of November 3rd General Elections

“When political leaders treat our public square like a ‘battle space,’ inappropriately and unnecessarily using militarized tactics, weapons, or personnel to quell protests, human rights abuses are very likely to occur…Such tactics have no place in a democracy.” ,” Michael Breen, president and chief executive officer at Human Rights First, added his own word.

The rights groups equally indicated that the law enforcement officers targeted the media, legal observers, and medics who were not participating in protests, causing injuries with the use of crowd control weapons.

Rate this article   
Cameroonians in Kenyan Police Custody for Possessing Fake gold, Millions of dollars
Three Cameroonians are currently under Kenyan police custody....
Page Views: 164
Anglophone Crisis: “Help me, help me. Every day my people are being killed”
Reports on news of an Anglophone Cameroonian has gone viral ....
Page Views: 198
Cameroon: Biya’s Special Recruitment of 2000 PHD Holders Continues
In the second phase of the special recruitment of 2000 staff....
Page Views: 268
Cameroon: NCASP to be Finalize, Draft Decree Adopted by end-2021
Cameroon National Security Committee - NSC will among other ....
Page Views: 304
Shelter Afrique to Host 40th AGM, Annual Housing Symposium in Cameroon
Shelter Afrique, the pan-African housing development bank ha....
Page Views: 318
___________________ ___________________