Amnesty International has called on law enforcement officials to comply with national and international standards and only use force when necessary during protests. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)
Amnesty International has called on law enforcement officials to comply with national and international standards and only use force when necessary during protests. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Wits protest: Amnesty slams cops’ use of rubber bullets after man killed

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Mar 10, 2021

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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS AN IMAGE WHICH MAY OFFEND SENSITIVE READERS

Johannesburg — Amnesty International has called on law enforcement officials to comply with national and international standards and only use force when necessary during protests.

This comes after a 35-year-old man was shot and killed, allegedly by police rubbers bullets, that were meant for protesting Wits students on Wednesday.

At the time of his death, the man was allegedly coming out of a medical centre and was not aware of what was going on when he was shot.

Shenilla Mohamed, executive director of Amnesty International South Africa, said they were alarmed by the man’s death. Mohamed said students have a right to express their grievances and the authorities must respect this right.

She called on security forces to guarantee students’ right to peaceful assembly and refrain from using excessive force.

Investigators photograph the body of a victim who was allegedly shot by police during Wits student protests in Braamfontein. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

“They must also ensure the protection of all bystanders. No one should die or be injured while exercising their basic rights.

“We call on the university authorities, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and Minister Blade Nzimande to expedite a prompt, independent and effective investigation into the shooting that led to the death of a bystander today, and make sure that, if force was used in an abusive manner, all those responsible are brought to justice. It is deeply concerning that the use of rubber bullets is still being condoned by the authorities,” said Mohamed.

IOL

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