Protestors chant and bend down on their knees. They hold handmade red, yellow and black signs saying 'stop don't shoot' and Black Lives Matter. Woman in front raises her fist and is wearing an Aboriginal flag tshirt.

Amnesty International Australia seeking videos and testimony of pepper spray incident at Sydney rally

Responding to the use of pepper spray by NSW Police on activists at the peaceful protests on Saturday in Sydney, Amnesty International Campaigner Tim O’Connor said:

“Amnesty International Australia deployed 12 Human Rights Observers in Sydney for Saturday’s peaceful #BlackLivesMatter rally. Our Human Rights Observers have collected footage from the peaceful protest, and further material from outside and inside Sydney’s Central station, where police forcibly herded a large group of people.

“The use of ‘kettling’ tactics by police and the deployment of pepper spray, with seemingly little warning clearly caused significant distress and pain to people, and we are seeking further statements and evidence from those who witnessed or were directly affected.

Concerns have been raised that the use of pepper spray and kettling of protesters was not appropriate or proportionate. 

Amnesty International Australia campaigner Tim O’Connor

“Concerns have been raised that the use of pepper spray and kettling of protesters was not appropriate or proportionate. 

“Amnesty Australia staff and volunteers received training and then attended the demonstrations as Human Rights Observers to ensure all parties upheld human rights standards.

“Videos and other evidence taken by Amnesty’s Human Rights Observers are currently being analysed and should any issues arise from the analysis, appropriate action will be taken including, but not limited to an official report to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.”

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