On 31 October 2017, Dr Mary Rayner, a human rights researcher with over 30 years of experience documenting human rights violations, appeared on SABC 2's longest running breakfast show, Morning Live, to discuss SERI's new research report on the disproportionate and unlawful use of force by police during the student protests at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2016. The new report, entitled A Double Harm: Police Misuse of Force and Barriers to Necessary Health Care Services (October 2017), documents the injuries caused by the misuse of force by the police who were called in to disperse campus-based protest at the university and deals with cases where the provision of medical assistance to injured protestors was obstructed by the police. 

Rayner, a lead author of the report, stated that:

"We've examined a number of incidents where the injuries sustained were very troubling, the impact on the person injured is long-term and where there's no proper public discussion about what really happened... [These incident] can, in fact, profoundly impact on a perons because they feel it iw being denied, it didn't happen... We've offered to engage with [the police] ... and would very much welcome further discussion." 

The report was launched last week along with Student Protests: A Legal and Practical Guide (September 2017), a user-friendly guide for students that explains students’ rights to protest, as well as students’ rights when they are arrested, detained or charged with a crime during a protest.

  • Watch the interview with Mary Rayner about SERI's research report on the police misuse of force during the student protests at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2016 on Morning Live, SABC (31 October 2017).
  • Download A Double Harm: Police Misuse of Force and Barriers to Necessary Health Care Services (October 2017) here.
  • Download Student Protests: A Legal and Practical Guide (September 2017) here.

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