Cops urged to exercise restraint
01 February 2013 | AARIFAH NOSARKA
THE use of lethal force by police must be absolutely necessary and proportionate to the threat of violence, says Human Rights Watch.
“The police have a duty not just to ensure law and order but to do so within the rule of law,” said the director of Human Rights Watch, Cameron Jacobs.
He was referring to the killing of 34 striking Lonmin platinum miners at Marikana last year.
Cameron said the killings elevated concerns over police brutality and underlying grievances over the governments failure to fulfill basic economic and social rights.
“This tragedy shone a spotlight on the poverty and grievances of many in the mining industry.”
South Africans await the outcome of the Farlam Judicial Commission of Inquiry, appointed to determine whether the use of force was reasonable and justified under the circumstances. The delivery of its final report is expected in June.
“The tragic killings at Lonmin Platinum Mine amounted to the failure to uphold and protect security of the person and the right to life,” the HRW said in its report.
According to the HRW, the bill protecting state information would most likely be approved by the National Assembly this year.
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