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UN rights experts concerned over structural racism in UK

[JURIST] UN human rights experts expressed concern [press release] Friday regarding the effects of structural racism in the UK.

The UN experts pointed to reports indicating individuals of African and Caribbean descent are more likely to die while in law enforcement or government custody.

The data on which the UN experts relied was released by the Metropolitan Police in August 2017. The report indicated that detainees of African and Caribbean descent were twice as likely to die following use of restraining mechanisms. The experts said these deaths were caused by a range of circumstances including "firearms, CS spray, long handed batons, electroshock weapons, physical restraint resulting in the inhibition of the respiratory system and asphyxia, restraint equipment, and denial of appropriate healthcare." The report indicated minority prisoners were three-times more likely to be subject to these methods. They are also disproportionally subject to use of electroshock by officers.

Law enforcement and government are also less likely to be held accountable for the deaths. The UK informed the UN it has charged its Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody with investigating and implementing policies to combat this problem. UN Special Rapporteurs on Racism are expected to visit the UK between April 30 and May 11 at the invitation of the government of the UK.

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