Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

West not the guardian of human rights

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-15 08:07

West not the guardian of human rights

At the 31st convention of the United Nations Human Rights Council, 12 Western countries led by the United States recently claimed there have been human rights violations in China and expressed concern over the country's "worsening" human rights record. This is the most provocative move by Western countries in the name of human rights in a decade.

Ignoring the great strides China has taken in protecting human rights, the US has termed China's judicial actions as infringements of human rights. This is blatant interference in the internal affairs of China and a violation of China's judicial sovereignty.

In fact, although the US considers itself the greatest defender of human rights, it has serious human rights problems of its own and, as such, does not have the right to criticize China's human rights record.

The easy availability of firearms and gun-related violence in the US seriously threaten US citizens' safety. Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot, murdered, or commit suicide using guns, and over 200,000 people are wounded in gun-related violence. The US government has not addressed any of these issues because of the power exercised by the gun lobby.

Moreover, racial discrimination is deeply rooted in the US, and racial equality exists only on paper. Ethnic minorities in the US do not have proportionate representation in politics or the judiciary, and their voting rights have long been suppressed. Black people are usually the scapegoats or wrongly targeted by law enforcement officers, who rarely face the judiciary for killing blacks.

The US' flagrant violation of international human rights laws is evident in its organized, systemic and large-scale abuse of prisoners no matter whether they are Americans or foreigners. The Central Intelligence Agency has used the worst torture methods on prisoners. Some of the brutal corporal and mental tortures are devised by CIA-funded so-called experts, and their level of cruelty is limitless. The brutal torture inflicted on prisoners extends to humiliation. And even senior US officials who have approved brutal torture programs have found the interrogation reports "disgusting".

Therefore, the US should first take care of the skeletons in its open human rights cupboard before pointing the finger at other countries. And before demonizing other countries for their human rights records, the US should better look itself in the mirror.

Li Yunlong is a professor of international studies at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

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