Tense Night In Ferguson: Update From the Amnesty Team

Amnesty delegates in Ferguson.

Amnesty delegates in Ferguson.

As Amnesty International delegates head into their second week monitoring the tense situation in Ferguson, they’re learning first-hand what protesters on the ground have been dealing with since tensions flared after the shooting of an unarmed teen.

Last night, Twitter followers asked whether the Amnesty team encountered any problems as they tried to leave Ferguson on police orders. The team sent in this account:

Last night in Ferguson, after 11:00 pm CT, police were on loudspeaker announcing that anyone who was not credentialed media must leave the area. The Amnesty observer delegation decided to leave. They walked to leave the area, which required them to move toward police who were holding guns. The Amnesty observers put their hands up proactively as a sign that they did not hold weapons and were not a threat. A police officer stopped them and told the first three observers to kneel, which they did. The observers explained to an officer that they were human rights observers who were leaving as requested and they were granted passage.

A video of the encounter can be seen here:


The team continues to live-tweet their observations in Ferguson:

Amnesty International remains deeply concerned about government infringement on the community’s right to peacefully protest the killing by police of Michael Brown. Our delegation will remain in Missouri until we have a clear picture of what is taking place on the ground, and we are able to work effectively with local activists on how to defend human rights at home.

Amnesty International USA is calling for:

  • A prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown. Brown’s family must be kept informed throughout the investigation. Under international law, police officers suspected of having committed unlawful acts must be held to account through effective investigation, and where warranted, prosecuted.
  • All police departments involved in policing the ongoing protests in Ferguson in response to Michael Brown’s death must act in accordance with international human rights standards. Any human rights abuses in connection with the policing of protests must be independently and impartially investigated, and those responsible held accountable.
  • A thorough review of all trainings, policies and procedures with regards to the use of force and the policing of protests should be undertaken.

This is a moment for people around the country – and around the world – to join the Ferguson community in raising concerns about race and policing, and about the impact of militarization on our fundamental right to peacefully assemble.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

16 thoughts on “Tense Night In Ferguson: Update From the Amnesty Team

  1. Thank you, Amnesty International, for being on the scene in Ferguson to observe and call for these three actions.

  2. Thank you for being on the scene. Do you think that our oppression at home is raising tensions abroad? We now have no morale footing to build solid foundations for peace talks abroad.

  3. Thank you. Your voice of reason is needed as well as your oversight of this situation.

  4. I visited Ferguson over the weekend. I am a former resident of North County St. Louis. I thank you for your presence and your call to action.

  5. "A police officer stopped them and told the first three observers to kneel, which they did."

    I'ts Fair Game all over again.

  6. As a resident of St. Louis County, I question the wisdom of AIUSA's decision to send FOURTEEN observers to Ferguson. At a time of budgetary constraints, when AIUSA seems unable to perform what should be its core mission of seeking the release of POCs, this seems like a terrible waste of resources. AI's candle used to be for shining light into the darkened cells of otherwise forgotten prisoners; Ferguson is already bathed in the blinding light of scores of media cameras.

    • Until this issue is resolved and all men can live equally, it is impossible to call this a "waste of resources."

  7. "Ferguson is already bathed in the blinding light of scores of media cameras." Not on my tv news channels it's not. When there is anything, it's lies about rioting gangs and suggestions that the police use MORE force (water canon etc.). Mostly it's ignored though. My only true news source right now is Twitter, as it has been since the shooting and the #Ferguson protests began.

  8. aye , twitter has been the only access to sources of data with the ring of truth to them the mainstream media is just reporting a a riot nothing to see here instead of the human rights disaster that is happening there on live feeds…

  9. These amnesty international people need to be arrested, no foreign political entity is legal on American soil, in fact they represent foreign interest and thus are terrorists or invaders. They need to be arrested immediately and deported or sentenced.

    • Really? Because somebody is a foreigner, they're automatically a terrorist and should be arrested? If that's true, what exactly separates the USA from North Korea at this point?

    • Not a political entity, nor foreign or terrorists or invader. So what is your point? The way that the police act in some of our cities…. now that seems foreign. They act like terrorists and are invaders on U.S. Citizens. So what political organization is filling your brain with acid instead of knowledge and the truth. If it is your gut feeling or hunch leave your thoughts in your head and let the adults and the non-knowledge depleted people stand up for everyone's rights. Even yours yes Amnesty International would be there if this happened in your neighborhood and if your son was shot.

  10. Thank you amnesty for Satnding in the Gap , and shedding light what clearly is not new behavior in this city and far to many more across this country.

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