9 Nov 2016

US Army facing suit for denying access to Hawaii group

12:12 pm on 9 November 2016

A lawsuit in Hawaii alleges the U.S. Army is violating a court settlement by restricting access to cultural sites in a valley considered sacred by many Hawaiians.

Lawyers for the environmental law group, Earthjustice, filed the lawsuit in Honolulu on behalf of Malama Makua, a native Hawaiian group.

It is the latest action in a long-running legal dispute over the valley which has long been the site of military training.

In a 2001 settlement Malama Makua was given access to the sacred sites twice a month, but the army is allowing just partial access..

A lawyer for Earthjustice said the army is continuing to block access to sites that include temples, shrines, burial sites and petroglyphs.

The Star and Stripes website reported U.S. Army Hawaii spokesman Dennis Drake saying officials will not comment on the pending litigation.