UN Issues Rare Warning Over 'Alarming' Racism In US

UN human rights experts have called on the United States and its leadership to "unequivocally and unconditionally" condemn racist speech and crimes, warning that a failure to do so could fuel further violent incidents. The rare "early warning and urgent action" statement, which is reserved for serious situations, was issued by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on Wednesday. It stopped short of criticising US President Donald Trump by name.

The US president has been under constant condemnation after he blamed "both sides" for violence that broke out at a rally, organised by neo-Nazis and white supremacists, in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month. At the rally, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed after James Alex Fields, a man linked to white supremacists, rammed his car into a group of anti-racist protesters. CERD said it was "disturbed by the failure at the highest political level" of the US to reject racist demonstrations.

That failure could lead to "fuelling the proliferation of racist discourse and incidents" in the United States, the statement said. "We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred," Anastasia Crickley, who chairs the UN panel, added. The UN experts said the alleged perpetrators of the violence should be prosecuted and, if convicted, punished with sanctions commensurate with the gravity of the crime.

Courtesy:Al Jazeera

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