Special March 2011 Meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council may be the last chance

The National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) is warning that a special March 2011 meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council may be the “last chance” for the United States to address the plight of numerous political prisoners who after decades, remain incarcerated because of their political beliefs and associations.

The warning comes in a newly-published statement (posted at www.ncbl.org) that details NCBL’s commitment to achieve justice for political prisoners.

“It is a situation that is undeniable, unjust, unacceptable, and a violation of international human rights laws” says Florence Morgan, an NCBL spokesperson.

The United States holds itself out as having the best criminal justice system in the world. However, this position is wholly inconsistent with its actual practice regarding the horrendous treatment of this class of prisoners.

“It is time the United States purge itself of this venom that continues to spread and destroy the lives of many families who suffer the inevitable injustice that is the fate of their loved ones languishing in prisons for no reason other than retribution and vengeance” says Standish Willis, another NCBL spokesperson.

The UN’s Human Rights Council conducts a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in which dozens of human rights groups submit reports documenting the scale and extent of human rights violations in the U.S. The U.S. government’s report will not be formally adopted by the Council until March, 2011.