senior officials In un and the brother of George Floyd have opened this Wednesday, June 17 a debate exceptional on racism and police violence in the tribune of the Council of human rights, in Geneva. And the least we can say is that the atmosphere was oppressive. Requested by the african countries, the exchanges that should continue on Thursday have been committed in the context of the historical movement that has shaken the United States since the death, may 25 at Minneapolis (Minnesota), George Floyd, a middle-aged black asphyxiated by a white policeman. It is with strength that each of the speakers invited to speak, denounced the violence and discrimination suffered "for centuries" by Africans and people of african origin in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
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Bachelet calls for repairs
At the opening of the debate, the High Commissioner of the UN for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, has denounced it, not to mention the United States directly, "racial violence, systemic racism and policing practices are discriminatory today, "lamenting" the inability to recognize and deal with the legacy of the slave trade, and colonialism ".
"We need to make amends for centuries of violence and discrimination, in the form of a formal apology, of processes of truth and reparation under various forms," she said.
It was then the turn of Philonise Floyd, the brother of the African-American who died, to speak by video link to the instance in which the United States pulled out two years ago. "You have the power to help us get justice ", he launched on a tone very aggressive, in asking for an " independent investigation commission on the black people killed by police in the United States and the violence deployed against peaceful protesters."
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"The time has come to move from words to action"
Before the opening of the trial, a score of senior officials of the united Nations of origin or of african descent, among whom the head of the world health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had also signed on as personal a statement to indicate that " the mere condemnation of the expressions and acts of racism is not enough ".
" The crimes and consequences of the transatlantic slave trade are still felt today. Racism and poverty are systemic, people of african descent are among the most affected by the Covid-19 ", was launched before the assembly met in Geneva Amina Mohammed, the deputy secretary-general of the united nations.
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In its initial version, the text called for the establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry, a high-level structure usually reserved for major crises such as the syrian conflict.
A new version of the text simply ask Michelle Bachelet " to establish the facts and circumstances relating to the systemic racism, the alleged violations of international law in the field of human rights and ill-treatment against Africans and people of african origin ".
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First answers us
Andrew Bremberg, u.s. ambassador to the united Nations in Geneva, stressed the "transparency" shown by the country in the fight against discrimination and injustice to racial, citing the reform launched by Donald Trump. In effect, the president launched the day before a limited reform of the police with a decree prohibiting the catch of the controversial strangulation, except in the case of danger to the life of the police officer. Measures that should hardly satisfy the protesters in the u.s., which require, among others, the prohibition pure and simple of these.
It is necessary " to bring the police and communities, not away from it ", said Tuesday the president Trump, pounding his desire to restore " law and order ". Only a "very small" number of agents has made mistakes, he insisted, in notes, sometimes taking the allure of a campaign speech.
If he regretted the death of George Floyd and other victims black, the republican president has since the beginning of the protests dodged the debate on racism.
The u.s. president has only limited power on the police, who mostly depend on States and cities. The decree will use the leverage of federal grants to "encourage them" to respect the " highest professional standards ".
Without waiting for the administration to Trump or the Congress, several cities have banned police practices controversial since the death of George Floyd.
The anger was reignited by the death on Friday night in Atlanta (South) under the balls of a white policeman of another African-American, Rayshard Brooks. And a number of cases continue to fuel the outrage. the United States pulled out in 2018 of the Council of human rights
many countries have recognized on Wednesday in Geneva that racism was not solely the United States. Some, like Australia, have also lent their support to Washington expressing their trust in american justice, while the representative of Japan called for avoiding the subject will become the subject of a " confrontation ".