U.N. experts condemn racist violence in
U.S., urge investigations
Send a link to a friend
[August 16, 2017]
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) - United Nations human
rights experts called on the United States on Wednesday to combat rising
racist violence and xenophobia and to prosecute perpetrators of hate
U.S. President Donald Trump insisted on Tuesday that both left- and
right-wing extremists had become violent during a weekend rally by white
nationalists in Virginia, reigniting a political firestorm over race
relations in the United States and his own leadership of a national
After clashes between the two sides at Saturday's rally, a car ploughed
into opponents of the gathering, killing one woman and injuring 19
others. A 20-year-old Ohio man, James Fields, said to have harbored Nazi
sympathies, was charged with murder.
"We are outraged by the violence in Charlottesville and the racial
hatred displayed by right-wing extremists, white supremacists and
neo-Nazi groups," the independent U.N. experts said in a joint statement
issued in Geneva.
"We call for the prosecution and adequate punishment of all perpetrators
and the prompt establishment of an independent investigation into the
events ... Acts of hatred and racist hate speech must be unequivocally
condemned. Hate crimes must be investigated and the perpetrators
The events in Virginia were the "latest examples" of increasing racism,
racial discrimination, Afrophobia, racist violence and xenophobia
"observed in demonstrations across the USA", the U.N. experts said.
[to top of second column]
Women sit by an impromptu memorial of flowers commemorating the
victims at the scene of the car attack on a group of
counter-protesters during the "Unite the Right" rally as people
continue to react to the weekend violence in Charlottesville,
Virginia. REUTERS/Justin Ide
Recent incidents in California, Oregon, New Orleans and Kentucky had
demonstrated "the geographical spread of the problem", they added.
The statement was issued by Sabelo Gumedze, chair of the U.N.
working group of experts on people of African descent, Mutuma
Ruteere, U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism,
and Anastasia Crickley, chair of the U.N. Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
On Monday a U.N. human rights panel urged the United States to end
widespread detention of would-be immigrants including
asylum-seekers, saying the practice had "grown exponentially" and
violated international law.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Gareth Jones)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.