• Press Release

Amnesty International Sends Delegation of Human Rights Observers to Democratic National Convention

July 24, 2016

Recent Spate of Human Rights Violations at U.S. Protests Leads to Unprecedented Monitoring

MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Simon, [email protected] 

(New York, NY) — Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) will deploy human rights observers to monitor protests and law enforcement response at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, this week as it did for last week’s National Republican Convention in Cleveland, OH. Citing concerns about human rights violations at protests in the U.S. over the last couple of years, AIUSA decided to deploy teams of human rights observers to both conventions.

“All people have the fundamental human right to take to the streets peacefully to express their opinions. Our independent human rights observers are helping ensure that people’s right to protest is respected and protected at both political conventions,” said Eric Ferrero, Amnesty International USA’s Deputy Executive Director for Strategic Communications and Digital Initiatives. “In Cleveland, Amnesty International USA's delegation of human rights observers saw largely peaceful protests and saw police for the most part protecting people’s right to protest. Our observers also noted some concerns around entrance and exit routes from protests and other issues, which we will follow up on with law enforcement agencies and policymakers. As in Cleveland, our goals in Philadelphia are to protect the rights to peaceful assembly and expression and to monitor whether authorities are facilitating or impeding those rights.”  

This marks the first time Amnesty International has deployed human rights observers to the Republican and Democratic national conventions to specifically monitor demonstrations and law enforcement response.

AIUSA sent letters to the Cleveland and Philadelphia police departments before the conventions notifying them that the organization is deploying human rights observers during the conventions. The letters outline how authorities are required to act in accordance with international human rights standards and the U.S. Constitution during the policing of protests.

More on Amnesty International USA's delegation

AIUSA’s letter to the Cleveland Police Department

AIUSA’s letter to the Philadelphia Police Department

A list of best practices on the policing of protests with respect for human rights, as identified by Amnesty International and shared with both police departments

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.