The U.N. Working Group will be visiting Chicago for the second time this year. The first was back in January when the Working Group gathered at Chicago State University to hear charges of human rights abuses stemming from government and institutional racism, as well as police brutality.
The testimony had a profound effect on the Working Group that they were compelled to return this time to examine the arbitrary detention of US citizens within their own homeland. Yesterday, the Working Group began a 13-day visit to the U.S. starting in Washington D.C., they will also pay visits to Texas, California, and Illinois, three states with some of the highest incarceration rates in the country and across the free world.
According to Vicki Casanova-Willis, president of the National Conference of Black Lawyers “The issue of arbitrary detention impacts multiple communities across the U.S.” Entire families are being detained due to lack of proper documentation she says. Further, “Thousands of people are being held in jail without being sentenced for their inability to pay expensive fines and fees every day,” she states.
Prompted in part by the US Human Rights Network – a national network comprised over 300 organizations and individuals – the UN Working Group will be in Chicago on October 20th starting at 11 am – 1 pm. The venue is yet to be determined. Concluding their tour, the group will present their preliminary findings to the press at the UN Information Center in Washington D.C. on October 24, 2016, at 11:30 am.
“Chicago has been exposed as the false confession and police torture capital with racist policies and practices decimating Black and Brown families and communities,” said Casanova-Willis. Citing the failed war on drugs and the over-incarceration of Blacks, Hispanics and poor people she concludes that having the Working Group’s tour these states will help the people and communities to gain Human Rights status which will greatly impact their situations.
Visit their websites here http://www.ncbl.org/ and here http://www.ushrnetwork.org/