China’s State Council Information Office has released a report, The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010
, in response to the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010
released last Friday.
The Chinese report notes the US reports
are full of distortions and accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it.
In the report, China also urges the US to face up to its own human rights issues, noting America reports the highest incidence of violent crimes in the world. Each year, according to the report, one in five people in America is the victim of a criminal act, with no other nation reporting such a high figure.
The lengthy report also chided the US over its gun ownership laws, and the undermining of US citizens’ rights to privacy. Violence and torture are other concerns listed by the Chinese report, noting that while America boasts of “judicial justice,” the New York Police Department has paid out about $964 million over the past decade to settle claims against it.
Also receiving mention in the report on US abuses of human rights are the arrests of protesters in San Francisco, the indictment and firing of four police officers in Houston over a brutal beating delivered to a 15-year-old, the killing of a Guatemalan immigrant in Los Angeles by a police officer that led to mass protests, and the arrest of an off-duty police officer in Westminster on suspicion of the kidnap and rape of a woman.
China’s report on US human rights violations notes that while America calls itself the “land of freedom,” it has the world’s largest number of inmates, citing a 2008 Pew Center report showing one in every 100 US adults are in jail.
In the US, according to the Chinese report, wrongful convictions in the US are also a problem in the human rights arena. During the last 20 years, 266 people have been exonerated through DNA tests, with 17 of that number coming from death row.
The Chinese government report says US democracy is based largely on money, with “the beacon of democracy” shattering fundraising efforts
for the 2010 midterm elections, at a final tally of $3.98 billion, the most expensive in the country’s history.
Among the many issues discussed in the report, it notes the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act
approved by the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs last June gives the US government “absolute power” to shut down the Internet in the case of a declared national emergency. Citing PrisonPlanet.com, the Chinese government report says this will be
the first step towards a greatly restricted Internet system, whereby individual IDs and government permission would be required to operate a website.
The report also notes America applies “double standards” on Internet freedom
when it requests unrestricted “Internet freedom” in other countries. It accuses the US of wanting
to practice diplomacy by other means, including the Internet, particularly the social networks.
Also noted in the report is America’s high unemployment rate, the high level of poverty in the US, the increases in the number of Americans without health insurance, and the recent sharp increase of homeless Americans. It also calls racial discrimination in the US a deep-seated problem, permeating
every aspect of social life.
The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010
report notes the US has a “notorious record” of human rights violations on the international level
, noting the huge civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, caused by US-led invasions into those countries. According to the report, at least 109,000 people were killed in the Iraq war between March 2003 and December 2009. Of that number, 63 percent were civilians.
The report also cites the Collateral Murder
incident in Iraq that killed 12 people, including two Reuters employees. Most recently, the report notes a US military operation in Afghanistan less than two months ago that killed 65 innocent people, including 22 women and more than 30 children.
China’s report on US human rights abuses also shed light on US counter-terrorism missions that are “haunted by prisoner abuse scandals,” with America’s war on terror allowing the indefinite detention of captured individuals, without charges, and denying them the right to a trial.
In conclusion, the report shows that all of the facts it lists illustrate how dismal America’s own record of human rights is, and that the US cannot justify being the “human rights justice” of the world. It advises the US 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.