UN Envoy Speaks Out Against US Brutality Towards Occupy Protesters

 Things are getting interesting:

WASHINGTON -- The United Nations envoy for freedom of expression is drafting an official communication to the U.S. government demanding to know why federal officials are not protecting the rights of Occupy demonstrators whose protests are being disbanded -- sometimes violently -- by local authorities.

Frank La Rue, who serves as the U.N. "special rapporteur" for the protection of free expression, told HuffPost in an interview that the crackdowns against Occupy protesters appear to be violating their human and constitutional rights.

"I believe in city ordinances and I believe in maintaining urban order," he said Thursday. "But on the other hand I also believe that the state -- in this case the federal state -- has an obligation to protect and promote human rights."

La Rue, a human rights activist who's been at the UN for three years, essentially agrees with the National Lawyers Guild—that forcible, violent raids on Occupy encampments in New York, Los Angeles, Oakland and other cities, infringe upon citizens' First and Fourth Amendment rights and are a violation of moral decency to boot. "The demonstrations are treated as if they're presumptively criminal," said NLG co-chair Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. "Instead of looking at free speech activity as an honored and cherished right that should be supported and facilitated, the reaction of local authorities and police is very frequently to look at it as a crime scene."

La Rue's communique to the US government will "ask what exactly is the position of the federal government in regards to understanding the human rights and constitutional rights vis-a-vis the use of local police and local authorities to disband peaceful demonstrations." Read the full piece at the Huffington Post

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at December 5, 2011, 5:45am

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