Statement of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President on the policing of protests in the United States

COPENHAGEN, 1 June 2020 – Today, the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Georgian parliamentarian George Tsereteli, issued the following statement on the situation in the United States:

“I have been following the protests taking place in cities across the United States and the at times heavy-handed police response with concern. While incidents of criminal behavior on the part of certain protesters cannot be tolerated, I emphasize that the police have a duty to exercise restraint and to respect the rights of citizens voicing their grievances. Especially considering that the protests were initially motivated by anger over police brutality and the tragic death of George Floyd in Minnesota, overzealous policing of demonstrations may only serve to fuel the anger and could lead to more violence and unrest.

“Rather than responding with force, it is important that authorities listen to the message of the protesters, particularly their demands for accountability and an end to violent policing tactics, especially in minority communities.

“I’ve also been concerned by reports of journalists covering the demonstrations being arrested or hit with less-lethal munitions such as rubber-coated bullets. The press has a right – and indeed a responsibility – to cover any demonstrations and police must refrain from targeting these individuals who are providing a vital service to the public.”

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 323 parliamentarians from 57 countries spanning Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international co-operation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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