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Investigation Call Into Killing Of Demonstrators

Amnesty International calls for full investigation of killing of demonstrators

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

8 October 2001 MDE 21/022/2001 178/01

Two demonstrators were killed in Gaza and one critically injured by Palestinian police confronting hundreds of demonstrators protesting against the United States of America's bombing of Afghanistan.

"This appears to have been a reckless and unlawful use of lethal force against demonstrators when lives were not in danger," said Amnesty International. AFirearms should only be used to counter an imminent threat to life and only when non-lethal means have been exhausted.@

According to eyewitness accounts, the student demonstration left Gaza's Islamic University to march to the Palestinian Legislative Council. When Palestinian police barred the demonstrators= way there were violent clashes. The police used tear gas and then opened fire with live ammunition, killing two demonstrators, including a 14-year-old boy, leaving another critically wounded and injuring several others.

Amnesty International called for an immediate full investigation to be set up. AThe investigation must be carried out by people known for their integrity and independence. It should have the power to call witnesses and to protect witnesses. It should sit in public and its report should also be public.@

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