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Canadian police abusive to indigenous women - HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) have accused the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) of failing to protect indigenous women and girls from violence in northern British Columbia, as well as abusive behaviour by the police itself.

HRW interviewed women and girls who described abusive treatment by police officers, including excessive use of force as well as physical and sexual assault.

An 89-page report detailed ongoing failures by the police along with allegations of violent behaviour by police, especially against women and girls living in communities along Highway 16 which has come to be called northern British Columbia's 'Highway of Tears'.

Women's rights researcher at HRW, Meghan Rhoad said:

“The threat of domestic and random violence on one side, and mistreatment by RCMP officers on the other, leaves indigenous women in a constant state of insecurity. Where can they turn for help when the police are known to be unresponsive and, in some cases, abusive.”

See here for full HRW press release.

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