The back of a police officer's black tactical uniform with the word "police" spelled out in capital letters

Amnesty International Canada ‘alarmed’ by police raids on campus protest encampments in Alberta

In response to the University of Alberta’s and the University of Calgary’s decisions to call in the police to disperse peaceful protest encampments on campus, Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English-speaking section, stated:

“We are alarmed by the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against peaceful protesters on university campuses in Alberta.

“Peaceful protests are a critical source for dialogue in academic environments and society in general. The right to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly are vital means of social dialogue. These protected rights allow individuals the space to voice shared concerns on human rights and help create the public pressure needed to spark change.

“University administrations should not use hypothetical risks as grounds for prohibiting a peaceful assembly. Any decision to disperse an assembly should be taken only as a last resort and carefully in line with the principles of necessity and proportionality. The use of force by law enforcement must conform with international law and standards.

“The situation in Gaza is a humanitarian and human rights disaster, with over 1.7 million Palestinian people displaced in the Gaza strip facing serious risk of genocide and famine, while Canada still exports military equipment and technology to Israel. Universities must protect the rights of those who devote their time, energy, and voices to peacefully advocate for Palestinians at risk.”

Header photo credit: Matt Hecht/