Violation of Indigenous Prisoners’ Religious Freedoms Headed to UN Human Rights Committee

Soledad Federal Prison - site of many violations

Soledad Federal Prison – site of many violations

American Indian & Advocates Call Upon UN Human Rights Committee for Inquiry Into the United States’ Violation

 SEATTLE – Recently Huy, along with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), further decried the United States’ violations of indigenous prisoners’ religious freedoms, to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

The coalition’s concerns took the form of an update to a previously submitted 15-page report, titled, “Joint Submission to Human Rights Committee Concerning Indigenous Prisoners’ Religious Freedoms in the United States of America.”  The update was transmitted to Ms. Kate Fox Principi, Secretary of the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland.

This update, as with the original report, concerns the United States’ violations of indigenous prisoners’ religious freedoms and the United States’ failure to fully implement the ICCPR on state and local levels, in particular response to paragraphs 1(b), 4, 16, and 27 of the Human Rights Committee’s list of issues concerning the United States, for the 110th Session.  The Human Rights Committee’s review of the United States’ human rights record was scheduled to occur last October during  the 109th Session, but was postponed due to the United States government shutdown last fall.

The update and report decry religious freedoms violations occurring against indigenous prisoners, and related controversies, in at least the following American states: California, Montana, Hawaii, Arizona, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and Missouri.

“The religious and human rights violations being committed by state and county corrections agencies against indigenous prisoners remain prevalent,” said initial Chairman of the Huy Board Advisors,  Gabriel Galanda, Round Valley, a tribal lawyer with Galanda Broadman, PLLC in Seattle.  “International intervention is now needed to bring the U.S. and its state and local siblings into universal compliance with American federal law and worldwide human rights norms.”

The indigenous prisoners’ religious rights coalition is altogether comprised of:

  • Huy
  • NCAI
  • Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
  • Round Valley Indian Tribes
  • National Native American Bar Association
  • Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
  • NARF
  • Center for Indian Law and Policy at the Seattle University School of Law
  • The National ACLU
  • The ACLU of Washington
  • The ACLU of Southern California

The update and original report were principally authored and submitted by Huy, a tribally controlled non-governmental organization formed in Washington State to provide economic, educational, rehabilitative, and religious support for American indigenous prisoners in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the United States.  In Coast Salish language, Huy (pronounced “hoyt”) means: “See you again/we never say goodbye.”


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  1. cynthia Pickel 6 years ago
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