Amnesty Int'l: Police violently repress freedom of speech

June 24, 2012 14:14

Amnesty International's Israeli branch sent a letter Sunday to Public Security Minister Yitzhak Ahoronovitch saying it was concerned that police were "using much violence" to repress freedoms of speech and assembly, following the unrest in Tel Aviv over the weekend.

The letter, signed by Amnesty Israel's director Yonatan Gher, said the organization condemned violence "of all types," and criticized vandalism on the part of social justice protesters.

"However, there is much evidence that... serious violence used by police on Friday and Saturday night went beyond 'reasonable use of force,' especially in cases when it was directed... indiscriminately," the letter continued.

"In addition, despite the unfortunate violence on the part of protesters, violence by police officers should not be seen in an equal light, since the former constitutes a breaking of the law, while the latter constitutes a violation of human rights," Gher said.

He called on the public security minister to swiftly formulate instructions to police to ensure that basic human rights of protesters are safeguarded.

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