In an unprecedented move, Amnesty International has sent a group of thirteen observers to observe the situation in Ferguson, MO in the aftermath of the shooting of an unarmed, black teenager, Michael Brown by a white police officer.
Amnesty decided to send a delegation to the city last week – a day after Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director Steven Hawkins sent a letter to law enforcement officials there (pdf) expressing “deep concern” about Brown’s death and the way in which the police responded to protesters in the following days.
On Saturday, Hawkins criticized Nixon’s decision to impose a mandatory midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew on Ferguson. Nixon on Monday rescinded the curfew, following another night of violence on Sunday and his decision to deploy the Guard. [..]
Jasmine Heiss, an Washington-based campaigner for Amnesty International, was part of the delegation that traveled to Ferguson. Her previous deployment? Palestine.
“What was unprecedented and is unprecedented,” Heiss said of Ferguson, “is the scope of Amnesty’s] mission.” Amnesty’s response in Ferguson, she added, was more akin to the organization’s work during the [2013 protests in Turkey than it was to any previous action the group has taken in the United States.
Amnesty is now calling for a full investigation of police tactics in Ferguson
Amnesty International USA is calling for:
A prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown. Brown’s family must be kept informed throughout the investigation. Under international law, police officers suspected of having committed unlawful acts must be held to account through effective investigation, and where warranted, prosecuted.
All police departments involved in policing the ongoing protests in Ferguson in response to Michael Brown’s death must act in accordance with international human rights standards. Any human rights abuses in connection with the policing of protests must be independently and impartially investigated, and those responsible held accountable.
A thorough review of all trainings, policies and procedures with regards to the use of force and the policing of protests should be undertaken.
“Moving forward, we must seize this moment to bring about a wide-ranging review of all trainings, policies and procedures with regard to the use of force and the policing of protests in Ferguson and around the country,” added Hawkins. “This is a moment for people around the country – and around the world – to join the Ferguson community in raising concerns about race and policing, and about the impact of militarization on our fundamental right to peacefully assemble.”
Amnesty’s Executive Director, Stephen Hawkins spoke with Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman about the protests and the police tactics
The transcript can be read here.