Human Rights Record of the United States

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This article is about a specific Chinese publication. For general coverage of the topic, see Human rights in the United States.

The Human Rights Record of the United States (informally referred to as the "China Human Rights Report") is a publication on the annual human rights record in the United States of America, published by the Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The report was first issued in 1998 as a response to the United States' practice of criticizing China in its own annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which each of the Chinese reports cites in the first paragraph.

Overview[edit]

The Human Rights Record of the United States is published as a retort to U.S. criticism of China's human rights policies[1] in the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, published by the State Department of the United States.[2] The Chinese report states that the State Department 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." It says that the United States uses the human rights issues as "a political instrument to defame other nations' image and seek its own strategic interests." The report asserts ""[The U.S. State department] released the 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices' year after year to accuse and blame other countries for their human rights practices. 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."[1]

The Report criticizes U.S. domestic social and economic issues, such as poverty, crime and racism. Some of the data cited in the report is derived from official or authoritative sources; other sections are composed from a variety of material found online, some of which may be anecdotal.[3]

Regarding the 2010 report, Fareed Zakaria wrote: "The report loses itself and takes away from the more serious charges it does make about Guantanamo Bay and CIA detention facilities. The Chinese government should get the report done by serious Chinese scholars, of whom there are many, rather than the propaganda department of its Communist Party, which seems to have written this one."[4]

Notable reports[edit]

2003 report[edit]

The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003, published on March 1, 2004, criticizes the USA PATRIOT Act, saying it has "encroached upon rights and freedom of citizens, especially the people of ethnic minorities."[5][better source needed] It also argues that the freedom of press has been neglected, citing examples such as the firing of Peter Arnett and limited access to al Jazeera television broadcasts.[6][better source needed] The report emphasized U.S. military actions abroad, including the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, conducted without the approval of the United Nations.[citation needed]

The report concludes that the United States should "reflect on its erroneous position and behavior on human rights, and stop its unpopular interference with other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of promoting human rights".[7][better source needed]

2004 report[edit]

The 2004 report stated:

In 2004 the atrocity of U.S. troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the dark side of human rights performance of the United States. The scandal shocked the public and was condemned by the international community. It is quite ironic that on Feb. 28 of this year, the State Department of the United States once again posed as 'the world human rights police' and released its 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004'. As in previous years, the reports pointed fingers at human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions (including China) but kept silent on the U.S. misdeeds in this field. Therefore, the world people have to probe the human rights record behind the Statue of Liberty in the United States.[8]

2010 report[edit]

Xinhua News Agency posted the text of the 2010 report on its website.[9][10] It stated in part, "The violation of [US] citizens' civil and political rights by the government is severe ... the United States applies double standards ... by requesting unrestricted 'internet freedom' in other countries, which becomes an important diplomatic tool for the United States to impose pressure and seek hegemony, and imposing strict restriction within its territory.[11]

2011 report[edit]

Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011

I. On Life, Property and Personal Security
II. On Civil and Political Rights
III. On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
IV. On Racial Discrimination
V. On the rights of women and children
VI. On U.S. Violations of Human Rights
against Other Nations

source: (Xinhua 2012a)


China issued the 2011 report (Xinhua 2012a) on May 25, 2012.[12][13] The detailed report is made of 6 sections (Xinhua 2012a). The section II make a detailed overview of the occupy movement and US's security forces abuses of power.

2014 report[edit]

China published a report on the United States' human rights situation on June 26, 2015, hitting back at U.S. remarks about China.

The report, titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014," was released by the Information Office of the State Council, China's Cabinet, in response to "the 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" issued by the U.S. State Department on June 25 local time.

China's report states that the U.S. made comments on the human rights situations in many countries while showing not a bit of regret for or intention to improve its own terrible human rights record.

"The U.S., a self-proclaimed human rights defender, saw no improvements in its existent human rights issues, but reported numerous new problems," it says.

While its own human rights situation was increasingly grave, the U.S. violated human rights in other countries in a more brazen manner, and was given more "red cards" in the international human rights field, according to the report.

Ji Hong, a research fellow with Institute of American Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said America does not hold the moral high ground to tutor or judge others in that itself is also plagued by major human rights issues. According to Ji, who took part in drafting the report, US racial problems even deteriorated during the Obama presidency. "In the past, there were only implicit discrimination against ethnic minorities, but recent cases such as Charleston shooting spree reflected a more flagrant bias."

VIOLENCE & TORTURE

The U.S. was haunted by spreading guns, frequent occurrence of violent crimes, which threatened citizens' civil rights. The excessive use of force by police officers led to many deaths, sparking public outcry, the report says.

An unarmed 18-year-old African-American Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, a town in Missouri. After the grand jury of both Missouri and New York decided to bring no charges against the white police officer, massive protests broke out in more than 170 cities nationwide, it cites cn.nytimes.com as saying.

"The U.S. used cruel tortures indiscriminately, notably those carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)," it says.

To acquire intelligence from suspects of terrorism and extremism, the CIA used brutal methods, such as sleep deprivation, waterboarding, long-term solitary confinement, slamming prisoners against the wall, lashing, death threat and even "rectal rehydration" or rectal feeding, according to the report.

DISCRIMINATION & ABUSE

"The U.S. is a country with grim problems of racial discrimination, and institutional discrimination against ethnic minorities continued," according to the report.

Serious racial bias persisted in the police and justice systems. Minority groups and indigenous people are subject to unfairness in environment, election, health care, housing, education and other fields, it says. In August 2014, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in its concluding observation on the periodic report of the U.S. on the latter's implementation of relevant convention, slammed the U.S. for violating the rights of ethnic minorities, indigenous people, immigrants and other minority groups.

It criticized the fact that members of racial and ethnic minorities continued to be disproportionately arrested, incarcerated and subjected to harsher sentences, according to the report.

"American women and children's rights were not fully protected," it says, adding that women were discriminated at workplaces, and domestic violence was prevalent.

The report quotes media reports as saying that 2.1 million American women on average were assaulted by men each year. Three females were murdered by their partner each day, and four females died each day as a result of abuse.

Also, "millions of American children were homeless." Three children died each day as a result of abuse. School violence and sex assaults were pervasive and gun shootings happened from time to time, it says.

MONEY POLITICS

"Money is a deciding factor in the U.S. politics, and the U.S. citizens' political rights were not properly protected," the report says.

Despite the highest midterm election spending in history, general election voter turnout for the 2014 midterms was the lowest since World War II, according to the report.

"Dark money" flowed into elections, and the voting rights of racial minorities and other groups were intentionally suppressed, it says, adding that a few interest groups with power were able to influence the government's decision-making.

The U.S. democratic system was experiencing a crisis of representation, it says.

"Ordinary citizens feel that their supposedly democratic government no longer truly reflects their interests and is under the control of a variety of shadowy elites," the report cites Foreign Affairs as saying.

INEQUALITY

"Although the U.S. is the most developed country in the world, it is hard for the economic and social rights of its citizens to be soundly ensured," the report says.

In the process of economic recovery, the income inequality continued to be enlarged, the basic living conditions for the homeless people deteriorated, the health care system operated terribly and the education rights of average citizens were violated, according to the report.

VIOLATIONS ELSEWHERE

In the field of international human rights, the U.S. has long refused to approve some core human rights conventions of the United Nations and voted against some important UN human rights resolutions, the report says.

National Security Agency and other intelligence-gathering apparatus of the U.S. for a long time have spied on world leaders and civilians, according to the report.

Moreover, the U.S. continued to go even further to violate human rights in other countries, including infringing the privacy of citizens of other countries with the overseas monitoring project, killing large numbers of innocent civilians of other countries in drone strikes, and raping and killing locals by U.S. soldiers garrisoned overseas, it says.

Friday's report was the 16th such annual report published by China in response to U.S. attacks. Li Daojun, a professor with Law School of Shandong University, said the U.S. and China should expand mutual exchange and recognition on human rights causes. "The U.S. puts political rights above all else while China seeks to focus more on ensuring people's economic opportunities and development. In essence, it's the same because the two are interdependent."

[14]


The 2014 report stated:

On June 25 local time, the State Department of the United States released its country reports on human rights practices once again, making comments on the human rights situations in many countries while showing not a bit of regret for or intention to improve its own terrible human rights record. Plenty of facts show that, in 2014, the U.S., a self-proclaimed human rights defender, saw no improvements in its existent human rights issues, but reported numerous new problems. While its own human rights situation was increasingly grave, the U.S. violated human rights in other countries in a more brazen manner, and was given more "red cards" in the international human rights field.

The U.S. was haunted by spreading guns, frequent occurrence of violent crimes, which threatened citizens' civil rights. Statistics showed that the use of firearms in the U.S. was behind 69 percent of murders, while for robberies, the figure was 40 percent, and for aggravated assaults, 21.6 percent (edition.cnn.com). The excessive use of force by police officers led to many deaths, sparking public outcry. An unarmed 18-year-old African-American Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, a town in Missouri. After the grand jury of both Missouri and New York decided to bring no charges against the white police officer, massive protests broke out in more than 170 cities nationwide (cn.nytimes.com, November 25, 2014).

The U.S. used cruel tortures indiscriminately, notably those carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). To acquire intelligence from suspects of terrorism and extremism, the CIA used brutal methods, such as sleep deprivation, waterboarding, long-term solitary confinement, slamming prisoners against the wall, lashing, death threat and even "rectal rehydration" or rectal feeding. United Nations human rights convention institutions such as the UN Human Rights Committee and the Committee Against Torture had raised their concerns over issues in the U.S., including terrible detention conditions for convicts awaiting execution, abuse of brutal methods, secret detention, indefinite arbitrary detention, and illegal wire-tapping which infringed citizens' privacy. These institutions called on the U.S. to conduct swift, effective and fair investigations into all brutal behaviors and abuse of forces of the police force (www.un.org).

The U.S. is a country with grim problems of racial discrimination, and institutional discrimination against ethnic minorities continued. Serious racial bias persisted in the police and justice systems. Minority groups and indigenous people are subject to unfairness in environment, election, health care, housing, education and other fields. In August 2014, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in its concluding observation on the periodic report of the U.S. on the latter's implementation of relevant convention, slammed the U.S. for violating the rights of ethnic minorities, indigenous people, immigrants and other minority groups. It criticized the fact that members of racial and ethnic minorities continued to be disproportionately arrested, incarcerated and subjected to harsher sentences (tbinternet.ohchr.org).

Money is a deciding factor in the U.S. politics, and the U.S. citizens' political rights were not properly protected. Despite the highest midterm election spending in history, general election voter turnout for the 2014 midterms was the lowest since World War II. "Dark money" flowed into elections, and the voting rights of racial minorities and other groups were intentionally suppressed. A few interest groups with power were able to influence the government's decision-making. As a renowned scholar pointed out sharply, the U.S. democratic system was experiencing a crisis of representation. "Ordinary citizens feel that their supposedly democratic government no longer truly reflects their interests and is under the control of a variety of shadowy elites (Foreign Affairs, September/October 2014)."

Although the U.S. is the most developed country in the world, it is hard for the economic and social rights of its citizens to be soundly ensured. In the process of economic recovery, the income inequality continued to be enlarged, the basic living conditions for the homeless people deteriorated, the health care system operated terribly and the education rights of average citizens were violated. In October 2014, the United Nations Special Rapporteurs criticized the unprecedented water shut-offs in Detroit disproportionately affected the most vulnerable and poorest people, violating their right of access to drinking water and other international human rights.

American women and children's rights were not fully protected. Women were discriminated at workplaces, and domestic violence was prevalent. Each year, 2.1 million American women on average were assaulted by men. Three females were murdered by their partner each day, and four females died each day as a result of abuse. In the U.S. military, reports of female soldiers getting harassed were on the rise, and more faced repercussions for reporting assaults. Millions of American children were homeless. Three children died each day as a result of abuse. School violence and sex assaults were pervasive and gun shootings happened from time to time.

National Security Agency and other intelligence-gathering apparatus of the U.S. for a long time have spied on world leaders and civilians. The U.S. has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The U.S. government often takes an evasive or uncooperative attitude toward the criticism of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of UN, the council's working groups and special rapporteurs.

[15]

Position of the U.S. Government and Department of State[edit]

In response, the official position of the United States Government and the United States Department of State is that it does not report on human rights within the United States due to the possibility that any such reporting might be viewed as governmental propaganda, and would lack credibility. The State Department says that it does not mean to imply that the US has no human rights issues.[citation needed]

The government and the State Department take no position on the Chinese report, other than to note that it is fully proper and consistent with the principles of reciprocity that govern diplomatic relations between sovereign states. It may note problems which the US needs to work on, as do the reports of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and numerous other international and US-based NGOs.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "China hits back with report on U.S. human rights record". News.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  2. ^ "Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010". News.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  3. ^ Branigan, Tania (April 11, 2011). "China accuses US of human rights double standards". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ "What in the world? China calls out the U.S. on human rights". CNN. April 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ I. "On Life, Freedom and Personal Safety" // The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003
  6. ^ II. On Political Rights and Freedom // The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003
  7. ^ VI. "On Infringement upon Human Rights of Other Nations" // The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003
  8. ^ Introduction // Full text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2004
  9. ^ "Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010". News.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  10. ^ "Facts and Figures: U.S. human rights situation". News.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  11. ^ Branigan, Tania (2011-04-11). "China accuses US of human rights double standards | World news". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  12. ^ "FACTBOX: U.S. human rights record in 2011 - Xinhua | English.news.cn". News.xinhuanet.com. 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  13. ^ "China issues report on human rights in the U.S. - Xinhua | English.news.cn". News.xinhuanet.com. 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  14. ^ "China issues report on U.S. human rights;". Beijing: People Daily of China. 2015-06-26. 
  15. ^ "Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014". Beijing: Xinhua. 2015-06-26. 

External links[edit]