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Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, [email protected]

(New York) – Amnesty International welcomes the Florida State Attorney's decision to press charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, saying a criminal investigation is the only way to guarantee that justice is served in this tragic case.

"Trayvon's death has struck a nerve across the country, raising disturbing questions about the justice system, race relations, gun violence and the "Stand Your Ground" law itself," said Everette Harvey Thompson, Southern Regional Director for Amnesty International. "Many troubling issues have come into focus in this case, including the searing history of violence against minorities in the United States. Only the courts can establish justice. A young man has lost his life and we must have answers and accountability. It is up to the criminal justice system to find out what happened and hold someone accountable if a crime is committed. That determination is now in the hands of the courts."

Earlier this week, Florida State Attorney Angela B. Corey announced that she had decided not to convene a grand jury to investigate the shooting and would herself make the ultimate decision as to whether to charge George Zimmerman, the suspect in the shooting.

Amnesty International will continue to monitor the progress of this case.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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