UN High Commissioner Calls for Trayvon Martin Killing Investigation

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UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay has called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen killed by a nighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.

Ms Pillay made the comments about the controversial case at a press conference in Barbados, as she wrapped up a three-day visit to the Caribbean island nation.

 As High Commissioner for Human Rights, I call for an immediate investigation,” she said.

“Justice must be done for the victim. It’s not just this individual case. It calls into question the delivery of justice in all situations like this.”

Neighbourhood watch captain George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, fatally shot 17-year-old Martin inside a gated community in the Florida town of Sanford on February 26.

 

Mr Zimmerman has said he acted in self-defense after Martin punched him in the nose, knocked him down and slammed his head into the ground.

 

The case has unleashed a national uproar over race relations and the right to self-defense in the United States.

 

Ms Pillay expressed shock that Zimmerman was not arrested right away, and expressed concern about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force in situations where there is a belief of a threat.

 

“The law should operate equally in respect of all violations. I will be awaiting an investigation and prosecution and trial and of course reparations for the victims concerned,” Ms Pillay said.

 

Since Martin’s death, there have been numerous large public protests calling for Zimmerman’s arrest, but there have been no detention orders and the 28-year-old has gone into hiding, fearing for his life.

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