U.N. Special Rapporteur
(CNSNews.com) – On Wednesday, an official with the United Nations held a press conference and issued a statement following a 17-day tour of the United States, concluding that the country was founded on land stolen from the Indians, built on race-based slavery, and that the Black Lives Matter movement is the result of the country devaluing and destroying black people for “hundreds of years.”
"The country was founded on land stolen from its indigenous Native Americans; its early economic strength was built on race-based slavery against people of African descent; and successive waves of immigrants have faced discrimination, harassment or worse,” Maina Kiai, U.N. Special Rapporteur, said at the press conference in Washington, D.C.
Kiai’s specific mission was to assess the freedom of peaceful assembly and association in the United States. He began his remarks by thanking the U.S. government for inviting him and also thanked the International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, the Solidarity Center, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) for “their assistance to link me to activists” in the cities he visited, including those affiliated with Black Lives Matter.
"The Black Lives Matter movement is simply a reaffirmation that black lives do in fact matter, in the face of a structure that systematically devalues and destroys them, stretching back hundreds of years,” said Kiai, who lives in Nairobi, Kenya.
During his trip, Kiai visited Washington, D.C., New York City, Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., Cleveland, Phoenix, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Jackson, Miss., and Philadelphia, including “observing” protests at the Republican and Democratic conventions.
In his statement, Kiai also criticized treatment in the United States of legal and illegal migrant workers, praised unions, and blamed “a free market fundamentalist culture” for discouraging workers from unionizing.
In literature about the U.N. Special Rapporteur distributed to reporters at the press conference, which included photographs of police in riot gear in Ferguson, Mo., and a Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle, it states that Kiai’s job as part of the U.N. Human Rights Council is “to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective.”
In that capacity, it says, he “examines, monitors and publically reports on the freedoms of assembly and association worldwide.”
A bio of Kiai in the literature states that he is an attorney educated at Nairobi and Harvard Universities and has worked in the human rights arena for the past two decades in various capacities.
Kiai said a full report with “explicit recommendations” for improvements that should be made in the United States would be presented at the U.N. in June 2017. He added that U.S. officials would be able to review and respond to the report prior to its official presentation.