The United Nations Committee Against Torture urged the United States on November 28 to investigate and prosecute police brutality and shootings of unarmed Black youth.
The panel's first review of the US record on preventing torture since 2006 followed protests across the country after a November 24 grand jury decision not to charge officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The UN also raised strong concerns about “numerous reports” of police brutality and excessive use of force against people from minority groups and the use of racial profiling. The panel also referred to the “frequent and recurrent police shootings or fatal pursuits of unarmed black individuals”.
The committee also denounced “excruciating pain and prolonged suffering” for prisoners during “botched executions” in the US, as well as frequent rapes of inmates, shackling of pregnant women in some prisons and extensive use of solitary confinement.
The UN also criticised what it called a US failure to fully investigate allegations of torture and poor treatment of individuals suspected of terrorism held in US custody abroad.
The committee highlighted reports that the 148 inmates held at the US Guantanamo jail in Cuba suffer “a draconian system of secrecy surrounding high-value detainees that keeps their torture claims out of the public domain”.
[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]