Parents to take ‘torture’ of Michael Brown to UN

By St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) November 5, 2014 11:55 am

Human rights violationsThe parents of Michael Brown are going to a United Nations meeting in Switzerland to speak against civil rights violations, racial profiling and police violence in the United States, according to a St. Louis University assistant law professor who is helping organize the trip.

Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. will speak before the 53rd Session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva on Nov. 12 and 13, said the professor, Justin Hansford, who has been active in Ferguson protests. He said Brown’s parents are taking their grievances to a world stage because they feel they have not gotten justice from state, local and federal governments in the death of their son, who was fatally shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

Hansford said Brown’s parents are being sponsored by the U.S. Human Rights Network, a nonprofit network of human rights groups. Hansford and others have set up a website to collect donations to send protesters to the conference, he said. Plans for the trip are spelled out on the website fergusontogeneva.org.

McSpadden and Brown could not immediately be reached for comment. Their lawyer, Anthony D. Gray, said they planned to leave Nov. 10.

Hansford said he helped the Brown family get an audience by submitting a paper earlier this fall. He said he hopes the committee helps encourage authorities to take a less militarized approach in their response to future unrest. “The world community will look at it through a human rights lens this time,” he said.

The Committee against Torture, made up of 10 human rights experts from around the world, monitors an agreement by certain nations not to engage in torture or other inhumane treatment.

 

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