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Amnesty to continue monitoring site at Ihumātao

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand says all groups involved, including both police and protesters were forthcoming on its first day monitoring events at Ihumātao.

Executive Director Meg de Ronde says time spent at Ihumātao has reassured Amnesty that so far communication is occurring between police and protestors.

“Relationships have been established between Amnesty and both police and protestors at the Ihumātao site and both parties have assured us that they are in contact with one another. We have encouraged all to be as transparent and respectful as possible, and to record and report any instances that they feel may have breached the law or human rights. This helps limit the amount of misinformation that can happen at protests of this size.”

She says both parties are now sharing information and footage with Amnesty in its capacity as an independent human rights observer.

“We will continue to verify any reports with the information available and will notify the involved parties if any further action needs to be taken. In the meantime, it’s important to remember that we all have the right to enjoy freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. Law enforcement are doing well to protect peaceful protesters from those who do break the law or try to turn the protest violent, without limiting the ability for others to continue their peaceful protest. Human Rights standards allow for restrained use of force by Police in limited circumstances, such as to protect public safety. However, any response must be strictly necessary, proportionate, and is a last resort when non-violent means are proven to be, or are unlikely to be, effective.

De Ronde adds the gathering could go on for some time.

“We will continue to monitor the situation. Independent observers will be at the site sporadically throughout the coming days and we will stay in close contact with the groups involved.”

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