United Nations panel asks USA to condemn racism

PHOENIX AZ- AUGUST 22 Protesters outside the Phoenix Convention Center hold up anti President Donald Trump signs and shout back at Trump supporters waiting to enter a rally by Trump

A United Nations panel has strongly criticised the USA government for its "failure at the highest political level" to unequivocally reject racist violent events in Charlottesville and throughout the country.

On Aug. 12, thousands of white nationalists, neo-Confederates and right-wing protesters clashed with groups that oppose them during demonstrations in Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination pointed Wednesday in a statement that didn't explicitly mention Trump to "the failure at the highest political level to unequivocally reject racist violent events" in the United States.

Trump's wavering responses to the violence in Charlottesville, Va. - he has blamed "many sides", but also singled out the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi groups and white supremacists for condemnation - has roiled his administration, US lawmakers and other nations' leaders, but also unsettled rights advocates around the world.

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Chalk messages and flowers cover the street in a makeshift memorial in Charlottesville, Va., Thursday - where Heather Heyer was killed by a vehicle that rammed protesters on August 12.

The committee oversees implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which the USA ratified in 1994.

Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the Charlottesville rally, after he said "both sides" were to blame for the violence.

In a decision issued under its "early warning and urgent action" procedure, the Committee, which monitors implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, stated "there should be no place in the world for racist white supremacist ideas or any similar ideologies that reject the core human rights principles of human dignity and equality".

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Crickley added that she and the rest of the committee are calling "on the US Government to investigate thoroughly the phenomenon of racial discrimination targeting, in particular, people of African descent, ethnic or ethno-religious minorities, and migrants". Two days later, the president in remarks at the White House specifically named white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis "and other hate groups".

The UN's new warning calls on U.S. authorities to take concrete measures to address the spread of hate groups.

In an interview with the New York Times, Crickley doubled down on the so-called "misuse" of rights, saying the USA needed to balance freedom of expression with concerns about so-called "hate speech".

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