RIO DE JANEIRO – Amnesty International on Wednesday delivered to the Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee some 120,000 signatures urging the body to put pressure on authorities to reduce violence by police, which has claimed nearly 2,500 lives in Brazil’s second city since 2009.
The signatures, accompanied by a funeral wreath, were handed over after AI members placed 40 body bags outside the Organizing Committee’s offices to symbolize the 40 people killed by Rio de Janeiro cops in the month of May.
The 2016 Summer Games are set to begin on Aug. 5.
“Our concern about the Olympics is the rise of police violence in the city,” AI Brazil’s Renata Nedes said.
During major events such as the Olympics, there is typically “a very significant increase in the number of people killed by police in the city of Rio and the state of Rio,” she said.
AI raised similar concerns when Rio de Janeiro hosted the 2007 Pan American Games and matches of the 2014 World Cup tournament.