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The United States' Arbitrary Detention at Home and Abroad: Truth and Facts

Updated: 2023-03-30 10:10
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Children stand outside a pod in the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children, in the Rio Grande Valley in Donna, Texas, on March 30, 2021. DARIO LOPEZ-MILLS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Editor's note: Xinhua News Agency issued a report on Wednesday on the US' arbitrary detention at home and abroad. Following is the full text.


I. Arbitrary detention is clearly defined in the international law

II. Arbitrary detention of immigrants in the United States constitutes serious human rights violations

III. Horrible practices of arbitrary detention by the United States around the world

IV. Reasons for the abuse of arbitrary detention by the United States



Freedom from arbitrary detention is a fundamental individual right stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of the United Nations, and an important provision in international human rights treaties. Though an important contributor in the drafting of the UDHR and one of the first countries to ratify international human rights treaties, the United States has carried out arbitrary detention in total disregard of its domestic legal provisions and international treaty obligations, causing serious physical and mental harm to people involved. This report is based on facts, and aims to expose the hypocrisy and double standards of the United States on arbitrary detention, and form an understanding that no country is now trampling on human rights more seriously than the United States.

I. Arbitrary detention is clearly defined in international law

・ Arbitrary detention occurs when an individual is arrested and detained by a government without due process and without the legal protections of a fair trial, or when an individual is detained without any legal basis for deprivation of liberty. Arbitrary detention, in essence, is unlawful detention.

・ The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in 1948, clearly states that "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world." Article 9 states that "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile." On the basis of the UDHR, international human rights treaties including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the "Torture Convention") have been adopted. According to Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law." With the advancement of the international human rights cause, freedom from arbitrary detention has become a fundamental individual right and an important provision in international human rights treaties.

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