Go Get 'em Jesse

PapaPaul febboy at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Oct 10 19:23:19 MDT 1997


October 07, 1997

Helms Angred By U.N. Probe of U.S.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Jesse Helms says the United Nations has no
business sending an investigator around the United States to look into
capital punishment as a human rights abuse.

"Please reverse any and all State Department cooperation with this absurd
U.N. charade," Helms said in an angry letter to U.S. Ambassador Bill
Richardson at the United Nations.

A U.N. human rights investigator, Waly Bacre Ndiaye of Senegal, is to
conclude an 18-day mission Wednesday. In San Francisco, after quizzing
officials and visiting death row at San Quentin Prison, Ndiaye said
Tuesday he was mystified by Helms' criticism.

"If the U.S. can refuse, all other countries can do the same thing," he
said in an interview."This visit is a clear indication of the
government's willingness to cooperate with the U.N. on United States'

Ndiaye declined to discuss his findings but said his trip was prompted by
several allegations to a Geneva-based commission about an increase in
U.S. executions, racism in use of the death penalty, and executions of
mentally retarded prisoners and those convicted as minors.

Executions in 1997 at U.S. prisons have reached a 40-year high, with 57
convicts put to death so far.


"Bill, is this man confusing the United States with some other country,
or is this an intentional insult to the U.S. and our nation's legal
system?" Helms, R-N.C., asked Richardson in the letter dated Monday.


Helms, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is a frequent
critic of U.N. spending abuses. The North Carolina Republican said
capital punishment is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and has the
overwhelming support of American citizens.

"It is clear that Mr. Ndiaye's strange 'investigation' is intended to be
merely a platform for more outrageous accusations from U.S. critics at
the United Nations," Helms said.


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