Published August 30, 2016
NEW YORK — Amnesty International USA says state and county government officials in North Dakota should remove the barricade that is blocking the route to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
The group is referring to a barricade put in place 25 miles north of the reservation two weeks ago to divert American Indians and supporters going to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to protect the land from construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.
Amnesty International USA has been on location at the encampments where up to 3,000 supporters have held prayer and classes instructing protectors on passive resistance.
“The U.S. government is obligated under international law to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of indigenous people, including the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. It is the legitimate right of people to peacefully express their opinion,” the letter signed by Amnesty International spokeswoman Margaret Huang says.
Amnesty International USA is asking North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and the North Dakota Highway Patrol to meet with American Indian representatives and camp organizers.
Citing safety concerns, state and county law enforcement erected the barricade to the Standing Rock. Amnesty International USA maintains that the ongoing barricade is preventing the rights those opposed to the pipeline to be properly exercised.
Huang says signage, such as “no parking” and reduced speed limit notices could adequately address any safety concerns.
The Standing Rock #NoDAPL fight has attracted thousands-some who have come and gone-to Cannon Ball, North Dakota. A core group of protectors have vowed to stay until the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline is diverted far from tribal land or halted completely.
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