MOSCOW – The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) is investigating allegations of human rights abuses committed by North Dakota law enforcement officers against Native Americans protesting the Dakota Access pipeline construction, media reported Tuesday.
The UN’s advisory forum has been collecting testimonies from Dakota Access pipeline protesters and plans to issue a report and possible recommendations once the inquiry is complete, The Guardian reported.
The forum previously urged authorities to allow the Sioux tribe to have a say in the pipeline project.
Last Thursday, police used pepper spray and beanbag rounds of ammunition to disperse protesters from land owned by the pipeline company. Law enforcement officers from seven states were dispatched to help the local sheriff’s office and members of North Dakota’s National Guard.
The planned $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline will transport domestically-produced light crude oil from North Dakota through the states of South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. Earlier in October, US environmentalists joined Native Americans in protesting the project, which is being constructed near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The tribe claims it violates their sacred places, including burial grounds, and will affect their water sources.
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