Amnesty International calls for review of security measures at G8 and G20 summits

Posted
June 30, 2010
Article Source
Amnesty International

From an Amnesty International (AI) news release:

Toronto and the G8/G20: Peaceful protest suffers amidst heavy security measures and acts of vandalism

As the Annual General Meeting of Amnesty International Canada (English branch) concluded today in Toronto, Amnesty International members from across the country expressed their very deep concern that important rights associated with peaceful protest have suffered considerably in the city over the weekend.

In connection with the G20 leaders summit, the heavy police and security presence that has permeated the city for several days, as well as acts of vandalism and other violence by numbers of individuals, have contributed to an atmosphere of apprehension and fearfulness that has led many individuals to refrain from or limit their involvement in peaceful demonstrations and other activities.

At a time when the public should be encouraged to actively engage in debate and discussion about pressing global issues, the security measures that were put in place in Toronto in the lead up to the G20 Summit held in the city instead narrowed the space for civic expression and cast a chill over citizen participation in public discourse. Many thousands of individuals did take part in public events such as the "People First" demonstration during the afternoon of June 26, but felt apprehensive while doing so. Many others did not take part out of a sense of unease and fearfulness.

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