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China issues human rights record of US

Source: Xinhuanet | 03-08-2007 09:28

BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- China issued on Thursday the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006 in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006 issued by the U.S. Department of State on Tuesday.

Released by the Information Office of China's State Council, the Chinese report lists a multitude of cases to show the human rights situation in the United States and its violation of human rights in other countries.

"As in previous years, the State Department pointed the finger at human rights conditions in more than 190 countries and regions, including China, but avoided touching on the human rights situation in the United States," the document says.

By publishing the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006, the document says it aims to "help people have a better understanding of the situation in the United States and promote the international cause of human rights".

Relying on its strong military power, the United States has trespassed on the sovereignty of other countries and violated human rights in other countries, the document says.

A large number of innocent Iraqi civilians have died in the war launched by the United States in 2003.

A survey of Bloomberg School of Public Health under Johns Hopkins University estimated that more than 655,000 Iraqis have died in Iraq since war started in March 2003, meaning about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country, according to a Washington Post report on Oct. 11, 2006.

On Nov. 19, 2005, a U.S. marine unit searched an Iraqi community door-to-door and slaughtered 24 Iraqi civilians after a marine was killed by a roadside bomb in Haditha.

Those who were killed included a 76-year-old disabled man, a three-year-old child, and seven women, the BBC News reported on Nov. 19, 2006.

The document says the United States has a flagrant record of violating the Geneva Convention in systematically abusing prisoners during the Iraqi War and the War in Afghanistan.

On February 15, 2006, Australia's SBS TV aired more than 10 pictures and video clips taken at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison; the images included: a man's throat was cut off, left forearm of a man was left with burns and shrapnel wounds, a blood-stained interrogation room, and a seemingly insane man's body covered with his own feces.

Even in the United States, people's life, property and personal security are not secured, the document says.

The document quotes a report by the U.S. Justice Department on Sept. 10, 2006 as saying that there were 5.2 million violent crimes in the United States in 2005, up 2.5 percent from the previous year, the highest rate in 15 years.

Statistics released by the department in 2006 showed that in 2005 American residents age 12 or above experienced 23 million crimes; for every 1,000 persons age 12 or older, there occurred 1 rape or sexual assault, 1 assault with injury, and 3 robberies.

In the United States, human rights violations committed by law enforcement and judicial departments are also common.

Following the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other government agencies have referred 6,472 individuals to prosecutors on terrorism-related charges.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University says nearly three-quarters of terrorism suspects seized by the United States in the five years following the September 11 attacks have not even made it to trial because of lack of evidence against them.

In 64 percent of the cases, federal prosecutors decided that they were not worth prosecuting, while an additional nine percent were either dismissed by judges or the individuals were found not guilty, according to a report by the AFP on September 4, 2006.

In recent years, American citizens have suffered increasing civil rights infringements, as the U.S. government has put average Americans under intense surveillance as part of terrorism investigations since the Sept. 11 attacks.

According to a survey released in December 2006, two-thirds of Americans believe that the FBI and other federal agencies are intruding on their privacy rights, according to a Washington Post report on Dec. 13, 2006.

The United States touts itself as the "beacon of democracy", but the U.S. mode of democracy is in essence one in which money talks, the Chinese document says.

In 2004, candidates for the House of Representatives who raised less than one million U.S. dollars had almost no chance of winning, the USA TODAY quoted a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics as saying in a report on Oct. 29, 2006.

The average successful Senate campaign cost 7 million dollars, the USA Today says. In 2006, all state campaigns in the United States were predicted to cost about 2.4 billion dollars.

Seventy-four percent of respondents to a new Opinion Research poll say the U.S. Congress is generally out of touch with average Americans, as CNN reported on Oct. 18, 2006, and 79 percent of the surveyed say they feel big business does have too much influence over the administration's decisions.

The Chinese document also slams the United States for its lack of proper guarantee for people's economic, social and cultural rights.

A report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Aug. 29, 2006 says there were 37 million people living in poverty in 2005, accounting for 12.6 percent of total U.S. population. The report also says there were 7.7 million families in poverty and one out of eight Americans was living in poverty in 2005.

"The ethnic minorities are at the bottom of American society," the Chinese report says.

Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in November 2006 indicated that according to the 2005 data, the average yearly household income was 50,622 U.S. dollars for whites, compared with 36,278 for Hispanics and 30,940 for blacks. White people's income was 64 percent more than the blacks and 40 percent more than the Hispanics.

Racial discrimination is also deep-rooted in America's law enforcement and judicial systems.

According to statistics of the National Urban League, of the sentences issued in 12 crime categories in the State Courts, sentences for black males were longer than white males in all of them.

Researchers pointed to poverty, a lack of opportunities, racism in the criminal justice system for the black-white prison gap.

The document says the United States has lorded it over other countries by condemning their human rights practices while ignoring its own problems, which exposes double standard and hegemonism in the field of human rights.

By publishing the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006, the document says it aims to "help the world people have a better understanding of the situation in the United States and promote the international cause of human rights".

This is the eighth consecutive year that China has issued human rights record of the United States in answer to the U.S. State Department annual report.


Editor:Du Xiaodan