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Police violated people’s right to protest during Quebec G7, human rights report says

The police presence in Quebec City and at La Malbaie during the G7 leaders meeting in June is once again being denounced by human rights groups for being excessive and intimidating.

A report to be released Wednesday by Quebec nonprofit Ligue des droits et libertés and Amnesty International says there was a disproportionate number of police officers compared to protesters in the city during the summit, which was held in the Charlevoix region.

The Ligue says the number of officers and level to which they were armed hindered people’s ability to protest.

“The protests took place amid a climate of fear and intimidation and that climate prevailed during the whole summit,” Nicole Fillion, a spokesperson for the Ligue, told Radio-Canada.

“Political and police authorities completely flouted their obligation to protect and encourage the exercise of civil liberties, including the right to protest, during the G7.”

The report follows one released last month by a group of independent observers, which said the excessive presence of police could have had a chilling effect on people’s right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

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