by Christine Gralow
Note: I am republishing this article, originally published on May 19, 2018, because there has been renewed interest from the Hawaiian community in this U.N. letter. Also see recent news on David Keanu Sai from Ian Lind's blog. The authenticity of the deZayas letter stands, despite Sai's recent legal conflicts. -CG
The Hawaiian Kingdom Blog released a letter today from United Nations Special Rapporteur Alfred deZayas regarding his views on the legal governmental status of Hawai'i.
In the letter, dated February 18, 2018, deZayas wrote, "I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation."
DeZayas addressed this letter to Hawai'i First Circuit Court Judges Gary Chang and Jeannette Castagnetti. Chang presides over Hawai'i's Land and Tax Appeal Court. Castagnetti presided over the contentious Nelson v. Hawaiian Homes Commission case, in which she ordered the Hawai'i State Legislature to pay the Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands $28 million in 2016.
"To call this (U.N.) document 'remarkable' is an understatement," said David Keanu Sai.
Sai, who holds a Ph.D. in political science from University of Hawai'i, Manoa, has led several international complaints regarding the legal status of the Hawaiian Kingdom. He explained in an email to Meanwhile in Hawai'i that his complaints aimed to expose "the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign State."
Sai said a relative of Routh Bolomet, "a Hawaiian-Swiss citizen," alerted him last week to deZayas' letter.
In his letter, deZayas referred to his review of a 2017 complaint from Bolomet to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Bolomet complained of "historical and ongoing plundering of the Hawaiians' lands, particularly of those heirs and descendants with land titles that originate from the distributions of lands under the authority of the Hawaiian Kingdom".
DeZayas served as the U.N. Human Rights Council's Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order from May 2012 through April 2018. He wrote the letter to Judges Chang and Castagnetti while serving in that position. He previously served as Secretary of the U.N. Human Rights Committee and as Senior Lawyer with the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. He is a Cuban-born U.S. citizen with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently teaches at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Law.
Mahalo to Hawaiian Kingdom Blog for drawing public attention to this U.N. document.