UN rights experts deeply concerned about ‘brutal deaths’ at the hands of police — Global issues

Keenan Anderson died in Los Angeles after being chased repeatedly by police following a chase due to a traffic stop, according to news reports, and Tire Nichols of Memphis, died after being beaten up by five officers in Memphis brutally lying on the ground. Tennessee, who has been charged with murder and other charges.

‘Urgent action’

“The The brutal deaths of Keenan Anderson and Tire Nichols are more of a reminder of the urgency to act.Yvonne Mokgoro, President of the United Nations said Dong Nhan Quyen Association– Internationally appointed Independent expert mechanism to promote justice and racial equality in the context of law enforcement.

Experts have asked the US Government for details on the deaths of Mr. Anderson and Mr. Nichols, “about the ongoing investigations and the regulations that apply to the use of low-lethal weapons. than existing human rights standards”. , according to a statement by the UN human rights office OHCHR.

“In both cases, the experts emphasized that The force used appears to have violated international norms protects the right to life and prohibits torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. It also does not conform to the standards set forth in United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and Basic principles of the use of force and weapons by law enforcement officials.”

Be ‘guided by principles’

Juan Mendez, a member of the Expert Mechanism, said that “while we acknowledge the role of less-lethal options to reduce the risk of death or injury inherent in police conduct, any use of force by law enforcement officials must be guided by the principles of lawfulness, prudence, necessity, proportionality, non-discrimination and accountability.“.

Morris Tidball-Binzthe Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions said that the use of “less lethal” weapons such as stun guns, “continues to cause serious concern as states have an obligation to protect the right to life and the right to be free from torture and other forms of ill-treatment.” . Such weapons can cause death, serious bodily injury, and permanent disability“.

‘Overuse’ by Tasers

Alice Jill Edwards, Special Rapporteur on Torture, interviewed by UN News.

UN News

Alice Jill Edwards, Special Rapporteur on Torture, interviewed by UN News.

“We observed that, in cases like these, police officers use Tasers as a common protocol.” to incapacitate people who disobey orders or individuals who are “going through a mental health crisis, people who do not normally pose a serious danger to themselves or others”, added Ms. Mendez.

“We remain deeply concerned about the excessive use of tasers in law enforcement, particularly given their inherent potential for abuse.”

“Police and law enforcement agencies bear special responsibility to protect their citizens and to protect their rights,” he said. Alice Jill EdwardsUnited Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

“When this basic function is overtaken by illegal and unchecked violence, it make ordinary people fear their own police. Only community-led and designed solutions will work in such cases.”

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Before the death of Tire Nichols was condemned by the whole world, experts emphasized that besides prosecuting the officers involved, it was time for the US authorities to show their “determination”. questioning and reforming the institutionalized police culture that thing allow criminal attacks under the guise of law enforcement and public safety.”

Tracie Keesee, others member of the Mechanismsaid independent experts have called on authorities in the US to “ensure prompt accountability and compensation”.

Calls for a ‘really new approach’

Despite the charges against five police officers who were quickly fired from the Memphis force charged with the murder of Mr Nichols, “the horrifying footage of his beating is an alarming reminder of the need to urgent need for truly new approaches to traffic safety, stopping traffic, and broader public safety.”

At the invitation of the US Government received in December last year, to visit the country, the members of the Expert Mechanism will conduct a “much-needed official meeting”. Going on a business trip to the US in April“, said Chairman Mokgoro.

“We will engage with the Government and all stakeholders to ensure that police brutality is addressed with determination and that victims and their families get justice”, she added.

Special rapporteurs and other independent human rights experts are appointed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, working on a voluntary basis and serving in their personal capacity. They are not UN employees and are not paid for their work.


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