Amnesty International released new guide to curb excessive use of force by police
From the streets of Ferguson, Missouri to the favelas of Brazil, the police use of force and firearms makes global headlines when it turns fatal. In countless other cases, including in response to demonstrations, police are too quick to use force instead of seeking peaceful conflict resolution. In many countries police deploy tear gas, rubber bullets and other weapons in an arbitrary, abusive or excessive manner, causing serious casualties, including killing and maiming people, often with little or no accountability.
The Police and Human Rights Programme of the Dutch section of Amnesty International is responding to this serious deficiency in law enforcement by launching “Use of Force – Guidelines for Implementation of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by law enforcement officials” to mark the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Basic Principles in September 1990.
General Comments on the right to life: Art. 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR General Comment No. 36) and Art. 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
In preparation for the drafting of General Comment No. 36 on Art. 6 of the ICCPR by the Human Rights Committee, Amnesty International provided written input for the general day of discussion on 14 July 2015. Similarly, in September, Amnesty International presented its observation to a draft General Comment on Art. 4 ACHPR by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. PHRP has been directly involved in both submissions, in particular on the issue of the right to life in law enforcement. The utmost duty of police to prevent the loss of life in any law enforcement operation, and to protect third persons were particularly underscored. The full texts of the submissions are available through the following links:
Amnesty International’s Campaign “Stop Torture”
‘Stop Torture’ is a two-year global campaign launched on the 13th of May 2014 seeking to combat a surge in the use of torture worldwide by encouraging governments to introduce safeguards to prevent and punish torture. It is Amnesty International’s endeavour to have a measurable impact around the world and in particular in the following five countries of focus: Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco and Western Sahara, Philippines and Uzbekistan. In preparation of the campaign, PHRP participated in an international meeting of Amnesty International in April 2014, in order to support the development of appropriate theories of change seeking to end torture committed by law enforcement officials. Upon request, PHRP will continue to provide input and advice in relation to policing for Amnesty International sections striving to end torture in their country.