US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



USHRN Statement on the ground at Mauna Kea, Hawai'i

Aug 27, 2019

On August 26, 2019, USHRN Executive Director Dr. Rosalee Gonzalez gave a statement at a press conference organized by the Protectors at Mauna Kea sacred mountain, discussing the human rights violations the US Human Right Network has observed. Read here statement here.

"My name is Rosalee Gonzalez and I am speaking as Executive Director for the US Human Rights Network. The US Human Rights Network is made up of more than 300 member and partner organizations working on multiple human rights issues across the United States.

We are here as human rights observers, working closely with our partners at the United Nations to identify and address human rights violations within the US. We are here to support Kanaka Maoli and report on the human rights violations we have observed, including what we observed this morning.

This morning, I witnessed 6 vehicles of Indigenous Peoples, and 1 group of elders walking on foot, each denied access to Mauna Kea access road, the only road that leads to Mauna Kea mountain.  

We believe that human rights violations are occurring here, including violations of the standards set by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The United States, including the State of Hawai’i, is obligated to respect the cultural and religious customs of Indigenous Hawaiians. 

We have been in communication with the Governor and Mayor, after circulating a petition against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea sacred mountain, signed by 50 civil society organizations, academic institutions, and Indigenous groups around the world. I have requested a meeting with Governor Ige and look forward to his office’s response.

The US Human Rights Network will be supporting the Protectors in order for them to engage with the United Nations system, and we will be reaching out to UN Special Procedures, which include Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups,  regarding this issue. We will continue to stand in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Hawaii and demanding that their rights are respected. Thank you."