China Accuses U.S. Of Hypocrisy and Rights Violations

 
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

TOKYO (IDN) - China has snapped at the U.S. with a detailed report on its "terrible" human rights record and accused it of "hypocrisy" and "malicious design to pursue hegemony under the pretext of human rights".

Titled 'The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010', the report was released on April 10, 2011 by the Information Office of China's State Council (cabinet) in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010 issued by the U.S. Department of State two days earlier.

The State Council said the U.S. reports were "full of distortions and accusations of the human rights situation" in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the United States in its latest report had turned "a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it," China's report said.

Washington had taken human rights as "a political instrument to defame other nations' image and seek its own strategic interests," the report said.

While illustrating a dismal record of the United States on its own human rights, China's report said the U.S. could not be justified to pose as the world's "human rights justice."

"However, it released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries for their human rights practices," the report said.

"These moves fully expose the United States' hypocrisy by exercising double standards on human rights and its malicious design to pursue hegemony under the pretext of human rights," China.org.cn reported on April 11, 2011.

The State Council report advised the U.S. government to "take concrete actions to improve its own human rights conditions, check and rectify its acts in the human rights field, and stop the hegemonistic deeds of using human rights issues to interfere in other countries' internal affairs."

The violation of citizens' civil and political rights by the U.S. government was severe, said the report. "Citizens' privacy has been undermined. More than 6,600 travellers had been subject to electronic device searches between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, nearly half of them American citizens, said the report, citing figures released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in September 2010," China.org.cn said quoting the report.

The Chinese cabinet report said abuse of violence and torturing suspects to get confession was serious in the U.S. law enforcement, and "wrongful conviction occurred quite often."

Retorting U.S. criticism, the report said, while advocating Internet freedom, the U.S. in fact imposes fairly strict restriction on cyberspace. It applies double standards on Internet freedom by requesting unrestricted "Internet freedom" in other countries, which becomes an important diplomatic tool for the U.S. to impose pressure and seek hegemony, and imposing strict restriction within its own territory, the report said.

MONEY RULES

The U.S. regards itself as "the beacon of democracy." However, its democracy is largely based on money, the report said referring to a media report in 2010 that U.S. House and Senate candidates had shattered fundraising records for a midterm election, taking in more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars as of October 24. The midterm election, held in November 2010, finally cost 3.98 billion U.S. dollars, the most expensive in the U.S. history.

The report also refers to gender discrimination against women that widely exists in the United States. Women in the country often experience sexual assault and violence.

"Statistics showed that some 20 million women are rape victims in the country, some one fifth female students on campus are victims of sexual assault, and nearly 3,000 female soldiers were sexually assaulted in fiscal year 2008, up nine percent from the year before.

"Women are also victims of domestic violence in the United States, said the report, as some 1.3 million people fall victim to domestic violence every year, with women accounting for 92 percent," China.org.cn said quoting the report.

Besides, many children in the U.S. live in poverty and their physical and mental health is not ensured as nearly one in four children struggles with hunger, according to the report.

"Violence against children is very severe in the country, citing figures from the official website of Love Our Children USA that every year, over three million children are victims of violence reportedly and the actual number is three times greater.

"More than 93,000 children are currently incarcerated in the United States, and between 75 and 93 percent of children have experienced at least one traumatic experience, including sexual abuse and neglect," the report said.

According to the report, pornographic content is rampant on the Internet and severely harms American children as seven in 10 children have accidentally accessed pornography on the Internet and one in three has done so intentionally.

The United States has a notorious record of international human rights violations, said the report pointing out that the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had caused huge civilian casualties.

"Figures from the WikiLeaks website revealed up to 285,000 war casualties in Iraq from March 2003 through the end of 2009, with 63 percent of the 109,000 people killed in the Iraq war being civilians.

"The U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and other regions have also brought tremendous casualties to local people," said the report.

The report cited the notorious case of a "kill team" formed by five soldiers from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The team had committed at least three murders, where they randomly targeted and killed Afghan civilians, and dismembered the corpses and hoarded the human bones.

In addition, the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops had caused 535 Afghan civilian deaths and injuries in 2009. Among them 113 civilians were shot and killed, an increase of 43 percent over 2008, the report quoted McClatchy Newspapers as saying.

PRISONER ABUSE

The U.S. has been holding individuals captured under the pretext of the "war on terror" and abusing detainees with various methods, according to the report.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had established secret detention facilities to interrogate so-called "high-value detainees," said the report, citing a document submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2010.

According to the document, the CIA had taken custody of 94 detainees, and had employed "enhanced techniques" to varying degrees, including stress positions, extreme temperature changes, sleep deprivation and "waterboarding" in the interrogation of 28 of those detainees.

The report went on to say that the United States had refused to join several key international human rights conventions and failed to fulfil its international obligations. To date, Washington States has ratified neither the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, nor the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, said the report.

Also, the country has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has been ratified by 96 countries up to now, according to the report.

So far, a total of 193 countries have joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but the United States is among the very few countries that have not ratified it, the report said.

In addition, the first report of the domestic human rights situation submitted by the U.S. government to the UN Human Rights Council on August 20, 2010 had received a record 228 recommendations by about 60 country delegations for improving its human rights situation during the UN Universal Periodic Review.

These recommendations referred to, inter alia, ratifying key international human rights conventions, rights of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, racial discriminations and Guantanamo prison. The United States, however, only accepted some 40 of them.

In the discussion on the U.S., speakers from some country delegations had noted that the United States' commitment to the human rights area was far from satisfying, and they urged Washington to face up to its own human rights record and take concrete actions to tackle the existing human rights problems, the report said. (IDN-InDepthNews/11.04.2011)

2011 InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters

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