• Press Release

Amnesty International USA: Resumption of Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Violates Rights of Indigenous Peoples

February 7, 2017

Following an announcement that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted an easement to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to be completed, Eric Ferrero of Amnesty International USA made the following statement.

“This is an unlawful and appalling violation of human rights. The United States is obligated under international law to respect the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all other Indigenous Peoples. To allow this pipeline to go forward without sufficient assessment of how it will impact their land, culture, and access to clean water is a violation of their rights and sovereignty of their land.”

Last week AIUSA sent a letter to the acting Secretary of the Army saying that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline should not resume until the Army’s environmental impact review was completed and the consent of the Tribe was sought.

AIUSA previously sent human rights observers to the construction site to monitor policing of protesters, who call themselves water protectors. Today’s announcement opens the door to more protests.

“Police have a duty to protect the rights of free expression and peaceful protest,” said Ferrero. “We urge law enforcement to exercise restraint and to act in a manner that de-escalates tensions instead of inflaming them.”