China Issues US Human Rights Record in 2001

The Information Office of the State Council issued Monday a report on US human rights record in 2001, pointing out that serious human rights violations exist in the US.

The article, entitled "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2001", contains lots of facts and figures to show America's own human rights-related problems.

The article urges the United States to give up its hegemonic practice of creating confrontation and interfering in the internal affairs of others by exploiting the human rights issue, go with the tide of the times characterized by cooperation and dialogue in the area of human rights, and do more useful things for the progress and development of the human society.

The about 10,000-Chinese-word article consists of six parts, namely "Lack of Safeguard for Life, Freedom and Personal Safety", "Serious Rights Violations by Law Enforcement Departments", "Plight of the Poor, Hungry and Homeless", "Worrying Conditions for Women and Children", "Deep-Rooted Racial Discrimination", and "Wantonly Infringing upon Human Rights of Other Countries".

The article comes after the U.S. State Department published "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2001" on March 4, 2002.

The article notes that once again the United States, assuming the role of "world judge of human rights", has distorted human rights conditions in many countries and regions in the world, including China, and accused them of human rights violations, all the while turning a blind eye to its own human rights-related problems.

"In fact, it is right in the United States where serious human rights violations exist," says the article.

Violence and crimes are a daily occurrence in the US society, where people's life, freedom and personal safety are under serious threat, says the article.

According to a report carried by the Christian Science Monitor in its January 22, 2002 issue, the murder rate in the United States at present stands at 5.5 persons per 100,000 people.

Data provided by police in 18 major cities of the US show that the number of murder cases in many big cities in 2001 increased drastically, with those in Boston and Phoenix City increasing by more than 60 percent over the same period of the previous year.

The United States is the country with the biggest number of private guns. "On one hand, worries about the threat of violence have led to rush buying of guns for self-protection," says the article, "on the other hand, the flooding guns is an important factor contributing to high violence and crime rates."

Statistics show that shooting is the second major cause of non-normal deaths after traffic accidents in the United States, averaging 15,000 deaths annually.

The US media are inundated with violent contents, contributing to a high crime rate in the United States, especially among young people.

International Herald Tribute reported that one American youth could see 40,000 murder cases and 200,000 other violent acts from the media before the age of 18.

"A culture beautifying violence has made young people believe that the gun can 'solve' all problems," says the article. The US National Association of Education estimates that around 100,000 students in the United States take arms to school every day.

The article notes that police brutality and unfair adjudication are intrinsic stubborn diseases of the United States. Torture and forced confession are common in the United States, with the number of convicts on the death row that are misjudged or wronged remaining high.

According to a February 11, 2002 Reuters report, the verdicts of 68 percent of convicts on the death row were overturned owing to misjudgment by the court in the US from 1973 to 1995. A total of 99 convicts on the death row have been proven innocent in the US since 1973. These people spent an average of eight years of terror in death confines, sustaining tremendous mental trauma.

According to an analysis, main reasons for misjudgment were failure to get legal counsel on the part of the accused, confession forcing by the police and prosecutors, and misdirection of the jury by judges.

As the best-developed country in the world, the United States, however, confronts a serious problem of polarization between the rich and the poor. Never has a fundamental change been possible in conditions of the poor, who constitute the forgotten "third world" within this superpower, says the article.

Right now the richest one percent of the Americans own 40 percent of the national wealth. In contrast, the share is a mere 16 percent for 80 percent of the American population.

In its annual report published in December, 2001, the United States Conference of Mayors reported a sharp increase in the number of the hungry and homeless in major cities.

The American government set up a federal fund to compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks according to their ages, salaries and the number of people in their families, plus a sum incompensation for the mental trauma the family members suffered. But this way of fixing the compensations produced a shocking result: lives of the rich are more valued than lives of the poor.

Families of many victims protested against this inequality, compelling the government to commit itself to revising the method.

Gender discrimination is an important aspect of social inequality in the United States, says the article. Up to date there has been no constitutional provision on equality between men and women in the United States.

Violence against women is a serious social problem in the United States. According to US official statistics, one American woman is beaten in every 15 seconds on average and some 700,000 cases of rape occur every year, says the article.

Protection of American children's rights is far from being adequate. The United States is one of the only two countries that have not acceded to Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The US is one of the only five countries that execute juvenile offenders in violation of relevant international conventions. More juvenile offenders are executed in the United States than in any of the other four. Besides, the United States is among the few countries where psychiatric and mentally retarded offenders could be executed.

American children are susceptible to violence and poverty, says the article. The firearm homicide rate for American children was 16 times the figure for children in 25 other industrialized countries.

More than 12 million children were living below the poverty line set by the federal government, said the US Fund for the Protection of the Child in a green paper on conditions of American children published in April 2001.

Racial discrimination is the most serious human rights problem in the United States, a problem that the United States has never resolved since its founding.

The proportion of federal government posts taken by ethnic minority Americans is much smaller than the proportion of their population in the national total, says the article. Scandals of racial discrimination have occurred one after another in recent years.

According to the 2000 population census of the US, blacks unable to enjoy medical isurance are twice as many as whites. The unemployment rate was twice as high for blacks as for whites. Meanwhile, blacks employed for menial service jobs are more than twice as many.

Racial discrimination is frequently seen in America's judicature. Half of the two million prison inmates are blacks, and ethnic Latin-Americans account for 16 percent of the total.

The article quotes an investigative report published by the United Nations as saying that for the same crime the penalty meted out against the colored can be twice or even thrice as severe as against the white. Blacks sentenced to death for killing whites are four times as many as whites given death penalty for killing blacks.

The United States ranks first in the world in terms of military spending and arms exports, says the article. The military expenditure of the United States accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world total, more than the combined military expenditure of the nine countries ranking next to it.

The United States also ranks first in the world in wantonly infringing upon the sovereignty of and human rights in other countries. It has used force overseas on more than 40 occasions since 1990s.

The United States has built many military bases all over the world, where it has stationed hundreds of thousands of troops, violating human rights everywhere in the world.

The NATO headed by the United States dropped a large number of depleted uranium bombs during the Kosovo war, bringing serious threat and destruction to local environments and the people. The United States also dropped more than 940,000 depleted uranium bombs onto Iraqi land.

The US government has until this day refused to sign the Basel Convention, which restricts the transfer of waste materials. It often transfers dangerous waste materials by different methods to developing countries.

The United States has announced its withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol, refusing to bear the responsibilities of improving the environment for human survival and bringing about negative impacts on environmental protection efforts in the world.

The article says that for many years, the US government has year after year published reports on human rights conditions in other countries in disregard of the opposition of many countries, cooking up charges, twisting facts and censoring all countries except itself.

In 2001, without support from the majority of member countries, the United States was voted out of the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the International Narcotics Committee.

"This shows, from one aspect, that it is extremely unpopular for the United States to push double standards and unilateralism on such issues as human rights, crackdowns on drug trafficking, arms control and environmental protection," notes the article.






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