US should stop acting like 'preacher' of human rights

08:10, April 13, 2011      

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On April 8, the U.S. Department of State released the "2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" in Washington, D.C.

However, what we see in the report is not an "honest compendium of global human rights issues," as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described it, but rather the hackneyed Cold War mentality and two faces of might as well as hypocrisy.

The report, a product of the Cold War, is a tool that the United States has used to assert its right to interfere with other countries' internal affairs in the name of human rights from the very beginning.

The U.S. Department of State has handed over the annual report to U.S. Congress since the middle of 1970s, and it originally targeted countries who accepted aid from America. Congress would decide whether continue to deliver assistance to those countries according to their human rights situation as determined by the report. Later, the report expanded its scope to include all the member countries of the United Nations.

Although today's world is no longer stuck in an old period when nearly everything was decided by only one country, the "35th Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" has not advanced with the times.

From the release of the report, we can see that the United States still regards itself as the only country allowed to govern all others, and it obviously indicates the might and overbearing nature of the United States on human rights. The reports evaluate the human rights situation in more than 190 countries but only excludes its own the United States, which places it in the position of a "preacher of human rights" for the whole world.

Then, what about the situation of human rights in United States?

Actually, the American government even admitted that the situation of human rights within the county is "not perfect."

There are 50.5 million Latin-Americans living in the United States according to its 2010 Census results. However, many of those who are in this rapidly-growing group of people are illegal immigrant and are called "undocumented workers." Most of them can only earn their living through physical labor. Why is the United States not launching a human rights program targeting this group of people?

U.S.' role on the stage of global human rights

When it came to power, the Obama administration promised to shut down the Guantanamo Bay Prison, which is an extreme example of human rights abuses. However, there is still no a certain schedule of doing it since more than two years have passed. Even further, American media have exposed that many prisons like Guantanamo exist on U.S. soil.

In this year's annual report, it was written that the death toll of Afghan civilians increased by 15 percent in 2009. But no mention was made that the U.S.-led NATO intervention caused more civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also left out the shocking fact that some American soldiers formed a "kill team" to murder civilians and mutilate corpses in Afghanistan.

U.S. uses a different standard to judge human rights inside and outside

As in the past, the United States made calls for Internet freedom a central feature of this year's report and wants the social networks to be an important instrument of achieving political motives.

But just on June 24 of last year, the U.S. Congress passed an amendment that grants the federal government absolute power to shutdown the Internet in an emergency, and websites cannot run if they did not get permission from government or fail an ID test. After the Wikileaks affair, it is an open secret in America that government supervises Internet more strictly.

It is known that modern China is continuing to develop its rapidly-growing economy while completing the construction of democracy and legal system and offering more extensive freedom and rights to all Chinese people. China has made great contribution to human rights worldwide due to its own development in the realm.

However, prejudiced report still criticizes China's human rights unreasonably and proudly despite China’s historical progress on human rights.

Obviously, the concept of "human rights" found in the report, on which some American people worked so hard, is not the well-known idea of "human rights" based on mutual respect, understanding and cooperation of international society.

So, the United States should really stop acting like "preacher" of human rights.

Authored by Wen Xian, translated by Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online

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