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UN RIGHTS BODY SETS UP INQUIRY INTO US RACISM

The UN Human Rights Council on Friday condemned discriminatory and violent policing after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month and ordered a report on “systemic racism” against people of African descent, Stephanie Nebehay wrote for Reuters late on June 19, 2020.


The 47-member-state forum unanimously adopted a resolution brought by African countries. The mandate also asks UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to examine government responses to peaceful protests, including alleged use of excessive force, and deliver findings in a year’s time.

Philonise Floyd, the brother of the Black man whose death under the knee of a white officer roused world protests against racial injustice, urged the forum on Wednesday to investigate U.S. police brutality and racial discrimination.

Burkina Faso’s Ambassador Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri presented the African resolution on Friday, urging its adoption by consensus. “It is important to show Africa...the Human Rights Council has heard the plight of African and people of African descent calling for equal treatment and application of equal rights for all,” he said. The Africa group had made numerous “concessions” in the negotiations with other countries, he added. Senegal’s envoy Coly Seck, a former council president, welcomed the consensus, telling the talks: “Black Lives Matter.” The text was watered down during closed-door negotiations from an initial draft explicitly calling for a UN commission of inquiry on racism in the US and elsewhere.

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