Eric Garner Case Highlights Urgent Need to Review US Policing Practices

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Just  over a week after a  grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a grand jury in Staten Island, New York has decided not to indict the officer responsible for the choking death of Eric Garner, despite the existence of a video capturing the incident that took place on July 17, 2014. In the process of apprehending Garner, the officer placed Garner in a chokehold which an autopsy determined compressed his neck and restricted his chest to the point of asphyxiation.  These are just two of many cases we have seen this year where black men are dying at the hands of police officers around the country.


From Ferguson to Hong Kong: Youth on the front lines


By Rafi Hoq, Amnesty International USA Student Activist Coordinator for Georgia

This week, I’ve been reading the latest updates from student-led “umbrella movement” in Hong Kong with a deepened diligence, and continuing to follow the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Missouri with newfound excitement. Youth are leading the fight for human rights around the world, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’ve spent just a few of my 20 years as an activist, but having recently returned to Atlanta after Ferguson’s Weekend of Resistance, solidarity means something entirely new to me. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

‘The killing of Michael Brown stung my heart’ Organizing for justice in Ferguson

Police block demonstrators from gaining access to Interstate Highway 70 on September 10, 2014 near Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Police block demonstrators from gaining access to Interstate Highway 70 on September 10, 2014 near Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Ernest Coverson, Field Organizer for Amnesty International USA-Midwest Region

When I wake up, I check the news in Ferguson, Missouri, a 37 day old habit I picked up since the killing of Michael Brown. The cameras have gone, the smoke has literally cleared, but the organizing in the community is still going strong. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Mozambique: "I Can’t Believe in Justice Any More"

Just a few weeks ago, on October 28th, elections were held in Mozambique, elections won by President Armando E. Guebuza of the ruling Frelimo party by about 75% of the votes. The main opposition party, Renamo, is now contesting the vote, accusing Frelimo of rigging the vote. Nevertheless, election observers from the European Union said the voting was “well-managed” and “calm.” So far no election-related violence has erupted in this southern African Country. Positive signs you may say. 

But not everything in Mozambique is as rosy as it may seem. Amnesty International just released today a new report on police accountability in Mozambique. The report, which follows up from an earlier report published in 2008 on the same issue, looks at the failure of the authorities to ensure justice for victims by not investigating suspected unlawful killings by the police.

Amnesty’s investigations in Mozambique show that at least 46 people have been unlawfully killed by police since 2006. In the majority of these cases, there has not been even as little as an investigation opened and in only a few have suspected officers been brought to justice, leaving families in the dark about what happened to their loved ones.

There are two-stage crimes. The initial unlawful deprivation of the most fundamental human right–to life–and the unwillingness of the Mozambican authorities to seek justice for that crime. Impunity is a prerequisite for all manner of things–none of them good for Mozambique – AIUSA’s Advocacy Director for Africa, Scott Edwards

Amnesty is calling on the government of Mozambique to ensure that all cases of police force that result in death or serious injury are fully investigated and those police officers responsible be brought to justice. The families of those killed deserve it.

Take action now to help bring an end to human rights violations by the police in Mozambique!