United Nations Heads to North Dakota to Investigate Possible Human Rights Violations

Originally posted by PRI’s The World on November 3, 2016—

This pipeline is being built to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota to a refinery near Chicago. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters say the $4 billion oil pipeline threatens its only water supply and harms sacred lands.

Police have made mass arrests and used pepper spray, riot gear, armored vehicles and rubber bullets to stop the protests.

Now, the United Nations is looking into allegations of human rights abuses by authorities against Native American protesters.

“When you look at what the international standards are for the treatment of people, and you are in a place like the United States, it’s really astounding to hear some of this testimony,” Roberto Borrero, a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council, told Reuters.

Many have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail, where some activists have been held in cages.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is the UN’s special rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She says the protesters are within their rights.

“What concerns me most is the inhumane treatment against the water protectors. I think they have the right to assemble and express their own views,” says Tauli-Corpuz. “The actions taken by police are unwarranted. It’s something that should not be done because these are their legitimate rights.””

For the rest of the original article, please click HERE.

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