CANADA: Americas Summit - right to peaceful demonstration must be respected

'A recent surge of worldwide demonstrations around international intergovernmental meetings has been met with a brutal response by police forces in many countries - most recently at Davos, Switzerland, and Prague,' Amnesty International said.

'The Canadian authorities must ensure that similar incidents of brutality will not take place,' the organization added.

'As the eyes of the world turn to Canada for the Summit, the peaceful expression of different opinions must be allowed. Any police handling of demonstrators must be carried out with full respect to human rights standards, including the U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials,' Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International will be closely monitoring the situation and will be sending an observer to Québec City.

Background

For Amnesty International's concerns on police response to demonstrations in Prague, please see Arbitrary detention and police ill-treatment following September 2000 protests, available on the web at:

http://www.web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/index/eur710012001

For concerns at Davos, please visit:

http://www.web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/index/eur43002102 http://www.web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/index/eur430022001 /p>

Amnesty International's concerns in the Americas are summarized in a document issued on the occasion of the Summit, available on the web at:

http://www.web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/index/amr010012001 /p>

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