UN Expert: U.S. Response To Protesters May Violate International Law

Screengrab / The Philadelphia Inquirer / Youtube

JakeThomas

Agnes Callamard said "there is a pattern of violations committed by police force in handling the protest" in the U.S.

International human rights advocates observing U.S. protests against the death of George Floyd, police brutality, and racial injustice and the US government’s response to the unrest are saying the U.S. may be violating international law, according to The World.

  • Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, said in an interview with The World that there appear to be numerous violations of international law amid the protests.

  • Callamard based her conclusion on a number of videos as well as reporting from protests across the nation.

  • She noted the need for police response to follow two principals: necessity and proportionality. The “less-lethal techniques” like rubber bullets, metal bullets encased in rubber, batons, and tear gas.

  • She said, “unfortunately, there is a global phenomenon of police misusing so-called less-lethal weapons in ways that are either making them lethal or making their use so indiscriminatory that it amounts to a violation.”

Callamard said the primary concern is the misuse of these alternatives to lethal weapons.

“There is a reasonable factor as to why we need them, because they give police a range of options in terms of handling difficult situations,” she said. “And that is something that is welcomed.”

“But in order to meet their purposes, which is to police in an effective and safe fashion, they have to be used to properly,” Callamard added. “And what we are seeing is the repeated misuse, the absence of proper guidelines and regulations, legal frameworks which are enshrining excessive use of force and impunity.”

She called for an end to the qualified immunity doctrine which shields government officials for being sued for discretionary actions within their official capacity.

Read more here.

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