Saturday, February 23, 2008

US defends human rights record before UN watchdog

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Geneva : The United States, in the dock at a UN forum accused of racial discrimination, said on Thursday that it was combating hate crimes such as displays of hangman's nooses as well as police brutality against minorities. A US delegation defended Washington's record at the start of a two-day debate at the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Committee's 18 independent experts grilled US officials on issues including racial profiling in the wake of the 11 September attacks, police brutality against minorities, and the high proportion of African-Americans on death row.

The UN Committee upholds compliance with a 1965 treaty ratified by 173 countries including the United States. It is to issue its findings on seven countries on 7 March.