US rights record in UN spotlight

afp-us-rights-record-in-un-spotlight
The United Nations will on Monday review the US rights record, with police brutality and racism, mass surveillance and the legacy of the “war on terror” in the spotlight.

Today’s so-called Universal Periodic Review — which all 193 UN countries must undergo every four years — is likely to focus on a string of recent killings of unarmed black men by the police.

The US delegation, headed by US ambassador to the council Keith Harper and acting US legal advisor Mary McLeod, were expected to face a range of questions about law enforcement tactics, police brutality and the disproportionate impact on African Americans and other minorities.

Diplomats from around the world are expected to raise questions about widespread incarceration in the United States of illegal immigrants, including children.

Conditions inside US prisons, including the use of long-term solitary confinement, and continued use of the death penalty were also among the issues raised in reports and questions filed in advance of Monday’s hearing.

The United States has seen its execution numbers drop in recent years to 35 in 2014, but still ranks fifth in the world after China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, according to Amnesty International.

The issue of mass surveillance systems brought to light in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, will also certainly be raised, as will US counter-terrorism operations and targeted drone killings.

Source: Afp, Geneva


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