Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 11, 2015

UN: World Concerned over Racial Discrimination in US

Keith Harper, member of the Cherokee Nation, opens address from US delegation to Human Rights Council today

Watch video below: 3 hours and 30 minutes:

Countries of the world detail US human rights abuses -- while US officials paint a picture of OZ

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The world is watching, as evidenced in the concerns expressed from countries around the world during the UN Human Rights Council Periodic Review of the United States human rights record in Geneva today.

Racial discrimination; the need to eliminate the death penalty; excessive use of force by police toward minorities; hate crimes; inequality of pay for women; US torture; the need to close Guantanamo; executions by drones; spying and the need to protect children and youths top the list of US human rights concerns by the governments of the world.

The Russian Federation, Pakistan and Mexico expressed the most passion in their concerns over human rights violations in the US, including police profiling; assassinations with drones and the murder of migrants by immigration officers.

Pakistan urges prosecution of CIA officers responsible for torture.

Keith Harper, member of the Cherokee Nation and US representative to the Human Rights Council, opened the address of the US delegation to the UN Human Rights Council today, during the Universal Periodic Review of the US human rights record.

The US provided the UN with a fantasy version of how it
treats migrant children. Photo: Detainees sleep in a holding cell
 at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, 
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville,Texas.
 (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)
As the US attempted to defend its human rights record, Harper said that the US is not perfect, but it has made progress in Indigenous rights, particularly in the areas of Indian youths, domestic violence, and law enforcement.

At the start of this morning's review, one member of the US delegation claimed that the US has made changes to assure that torture will no longer be allowed. 

However, at the conclusion, another member of the US delegation from the Joint Chiefs of Staff assured the United Nations that everything done in Guantanamo was in accordance with domestic and international law. There was no admission of torture, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. He assured he UN that everyone in Guantanamo was able to get a fair trial.

During the review, the US detailed its efforts to enforce laws that protect the public from excessive force by police.

Homeland Security's assurance that the US is protecting the rights of immigrants crossing the border, however, makes one want to click their heels together, for surely this is OZ. 

The US made extensive claims about benefits and services to migrant children, without mentioning the imprisoned migrant children in the US, in violation of international law, as shown in these photos.

Migrant children detained at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Nogales Placement  Center on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in
Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)
The claims by the US of fair housing for people of color, the homeless, and veterans, is another venture in fantasy. 

The US also claims it has undertaken reforms in regards to sexual assaults in the US military. The US detailed an array of services available to soldiers being raped by fellow soldiers.

Further, the US attempts to make its drone strikes appear lawful. There was no mention of the number of citizens -- women and children -- murdered by US drone assassinations.

The United States made broad claims about protecting and supporting Native American rights, including the return of sacred items.

Many members of the predominately docile Human Rights Council seemed to believe that the United States has made great strides in guaranteeing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The United States presented an array of cosmetic repairs, and typical public relations spin, without addressing the widespread atrocities being carried out across Indian country for grassroots people. 

There was no mention of Native American political prisoners. There was no mention of COINTELPRO targeting the Black Panthers, American Indian Movement and Chicanos. There was mention of the sterilization of Native American women in US government hospitals. There was no mention of the widespread abuse, kidnapping, rape and murder of Native American children in US boarding schools, or the fact that the theft of Native American children continues today illegally by social service agencies.

There was no mention of the fact that Homeland Security gave the contract to build US spy towers on the border to Israel's Apartheid contractor Elbit Systems in 2014, including the spy towers on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

The United States did not address how corporations are poisoning the air, land and water of Native Americans with coal-fired power plants and uranium mining. The US did not admit that corporations have built a prison-for-profit empire in the United States, and migrants, American Indians, blacks and Chicanos are imprisoned for profit, and denied their rights while incarcerated.

Chad's Awada Angui told the UN Human Rights Council that recent events have tarnished the image of the United States.

The US human rights atrocity that the representatives of the UN Human Rights Council were aware of was the fact that police in the United States are murdering unarmed black men.

During the review, the recommendations from countries included: The elimination of racial discrimination and excessive force in policing; halt to NSA spying; ensure the rights of women; the need to close Guantanamo; elimination of corporal punishment of children; the need to abolish the death penalty; the need to halt drone strikes; the need for access to abortions for victims of rape.

Mexico points out the deaths of migrants by immigration officials and the need for reparations. Honduras urges the US to protect the rights of immigrants, especially children.

Bolivia urges implementation of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and a halt to forced labor of migrants.

Montenegro is among the countries urging an end to the death penalty. 

New Zealand urges a moratorium on executions and an end to the death penalty.

Niger urges protections against hate crimes and hate speech.

Paraguay urges protection of migrants.

Portugal points out the cruel death by injections carried out by the US and the need for training for law enforcement. Portugal was among those urging new protections for migrants and the rights of the child.

Moldova expressed concern over the incarceration of youths in adult facilities, and the need to consult Indigenous Peoples in regards to decisions related to their lands and issues impacting them.

The Federation of Russia, Pakistan, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Korea, Ecuador and Mexico representatives gave passionate recommendations to the United States.
Pakistan urged the prosecution of CIA agents responsible for torture. Cuba also pressed for prosecution of those responsible for torture. Cuba also pressed for programs to reduce poverty in the US affecting 48 million people. Ecuador called for the prosecution of those responsible for torture and the use of drones for killing. Democratic Republic of Korea pressed for an end to racial discrimination and torture. Egypt called for an end to discrimination of Middle Easterners at airports.
Mexico pointed out the murder of its citizens by border immigration agents and the need for reparations. 

The Russian Federation quickly stated a long list of concerns and recommendations, including police arbitrary procedures, need to close Guantanamo, need to halt extrajudicial killings including drones, cruel treatment of adoptive children, and the racial profiling of Indigenous.

Senegal points out the need to improve the rights of immigrants.

Serbia points out the gender gap in the rights of women.

Singapore points out the need to eliminate hate crimes, including those based on religion.

Slovakia is among those urging the US to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Slovenia expressed concern over the lack of prosecution for those committing sex crimes within the US military.

Ireland urges the US to do more to protect its citizens from police brutality of African Americans and abolish death penalty.

In response, the US delegation said President Obama has ended the harsh rendition and torture program. 

The US denies it uses intelligence gathering for the suppression of dissent, and for business advantage. 

In both cases, the facts prove otherwise. The US has used spying to infiltrate, entrap and prosecute activists. It has also been exposed that the US intelligence gathering has been used for the purpose of insider business and trade knowledge.

Even Native Americans have been lured into the US massive spy network, as evidenced by the multi-million dollar US contract for domestic and international spying to Ho Chunk, Inc., in Nebraska, owner of the American Indian news website

The US attempts to defend the US record of the imprisonment of people of color.

South Africa urged more measures to combat racial discrimination. Iran also urged the US to prevent racial discrimination and investigate claims of torture.

Thailand points out the need to protect the rights of migrants and prevent human trafficking.

Bosnia said it is encouraged by the US consultation with Native Americans.

Botswana expressed concerns over discrimination against women in the US.

Canada expressed concerns of those of forced trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Israel said the US needs to do more to eliminate racial discrimination and hate crimes.

Maldives urged the US not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

In response, the US claims it is protecting the rights of migrant child workers. The US claims it is protecting migrant children from forced child labor.

The Illinois Attorney General makes passionate statements about protecting human rights in Illinois. Discrimination in home lending for people of color resulted in lawsuits and compensation. Twenty people on death row were exonerated. The death penalty was eliminated. Chicago police issued an apology to recent victims. Illinois provides low tuition for undocumented college students, she says.

The session was broadcast live on the web, making possible this coverage.

Brenda Norrell has been a reporter in Indian country for 33 years, beginning at the Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated by Indian Country Today. She created Censored News in 2006. Now in its 9th year with no advertising, grants or sponsors, Censored News is approaching 4 million pageviews.

No comments: