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MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Simon, asimon@aiusa.org

(CLEVELAND, OH) – Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has deployed human rights observers to monitor protests at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH, this week and will do the same at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, next week. The following is a statement from Eric Ferrero, AIUSA’s Deputy Executive Director for Strategic Communications and Digital Initiatives, on the protests in Cleveland on July 21:

“Amnesty International USA's delegation of human rights observers were at protests and marches throughout the day and night Thursday. As they have all week, the observers saw mostly peaceful protests with police largely protecting the rights of people to take to the streets to express their opinions. The observers continue to gather and analyze information about several situations this week, including two dispersal orders and a number of arrests. The team is also compiling its records on some of the entrance or exit routes to protests. As they have throughout the week, the observers noted a heavy law enforcement presence, with police sometimes outnumbering protesters.

“The delegation will send a letter outlining its findings to law enforcement agencies in Cleveland, as well as state and federal policymakers. The observers will include positive aspects of how police protected people's right to protest, as well as problematic or questionable aspects — all of which can serve as lessons for other jurisdictions or for reforms to protect people's human rights of assembly, association, and expression.

“A delegation of human rights observers from Amnesty International USA will be in Philadelphia all week next week, working just as they did in Cleveland to help ensure that people's right to protest is protected and respected.”

For 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