UN Human Rights Body To Examine ‘Systemic’ Racism And Police Brutality In U.S.
According to Reuters, the top United Nations human rights body agreed on Monday “to hold an urgent debate on allegations of ‘systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests’” in the US.
- The UN Human Rights Council’s decision followed a request last week by Burkina Faso on behalf of African countries in response to the killing of George Floyd, whose death has sparked protests against police brutality and racial injustice across the world.
“We think it is a moment to really discuss this issue, as you have seen with the demonstrations all over Europe, including here in Geneva,” said Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Austria’s ambassador who serves as current president of the Council. “This is a topic which is not just about one country, it goes well beyond that.”
- Tichy-Fisslberger also added that African countries may prepare a resolution for consideration at the debate.
- The African group’s request, in a letter that the UN made public, said: “The death of George Floyd is unfortunately not an isolated incident. The numbers of previous cases of unarmed people of African descent who met the same fate because of uncontrolled police violence are legion.”
- Reuters reported that the US mission in Geneva “had no immediate comment on the Council’s decision, but last week issued a statement decrying the ‘senseless death of George Floyd’ and saying the justice and transparency were ‘core values’” of the US.
The deaths of Floyd and many other African Americans have provoked outrage, and the letter sent to the UN also noted that 600 activist groups and victims’ relatives had called last week for a special session.