US Accused of Systematic and Persistent Racial Discrimination

GENEVA (AFP) — The United States is guilty of “persistent and systematic” racial discrimination across all aspects of society from Guantanamo Bay to the justice and school systems, rights groups charged on Wednesday.

“The persistent and systematic issues of racial discrimination have not been addressed” by the US government despite its adoption in 1994 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, said Ajamu Baraka, executive director of the US Human Rights Network.

“Unfortunately since 1994 we have found that the government has not lived up to its obligations,” Baraka told journalists, citing issues such as the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the black population of New Orleans, the treatment of immigrant workers, police brutality and housing.

“These issues have escaped the scrutiny” by government officials that they deserve, he said.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will examine Washington’s record later this week.

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN), along with a host of other rights and lobby groups including Human Rights Watch, has prepared its own “shadow report” highlighting what it says are serious cases of racial discrimination.

Human Rights Watch cited the different legal standards applied to non-US citizens detained at the Guantanamo Bay military prison camp. more

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