UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says protests underline tragic history of racism, violence in US.

Iran PressAmerica: The US must hear and address the grievances at the heart of the protests that have erupted in hundreds of the country's cities if it is to move on from its "tragic history of racism and violence," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet said Wednesday, according to Anadolu News Agency.

UN rights chief said: "The voices calling for an end to the killings of unarmed African Americans need to be heard. The voices calling for an end to police violence need to be heard,

"And the voices calling for an end to the endemic and structural racism that blights US society need to be heard," Bachelet said in a statement.

"At all times, but especially during a crisis, a country needs its leaders to condemn racism unequivocally, for them to reflect on what has driven people to boiling point, to listen and learn, and to take actions that truly tackle inequalities," she said.

Bachelet repeated calls to protesters to express their demands for justice peacefully and for the police to take the utmost care not to inflame the situation through excessive force.

The protests began in response to the killing of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in police custody on May 25 and have continued, spreading to more than 300 US cities.

The high commissioner said there were credible reports of "unnecessary and disproportionate" use of force by law enforcement officers, including indiscriminate and improper use of less-lethal weapons and ammunition.

There have been at least 200 reported incidents of journalists covering the protests being physically attacked, intimidated, or arbitrarily arrested despite their press credentials being clearly visible," said Bachelet.


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