US human rights violations exposed

Updated: 2008-03-13 10:12

China issued on Thursday the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2007 [click to read full text]  in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2007 issued by the US Department of State on Tuesday.

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

The report says the United States attacks more than 190 countries and regions including China on their human rights issues, but mentions nothing about its own human rights problems.

By publishing the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2007, the report says it aims to "help the people have a better understanding of the real situation in the United States and as a reminder for the United States to reflect upon its own issues".

The report reviewed the human rights record of the United States in 2007 from seven perspectives: on life and personal security, on human rights violations by law enforcement and judicial departments, on civil and political rights, on economic, social and cultural rights, on racial discrimination, on rights of women and children and on the United States' violation of human rights in other countries.

The report says the increase of violent crimes in the United States poses a serious threat to its people's lives, liberty and personal security.

According to a FBI report on crime statistics released in September 2007, 1.41 million violent crimes were reported nationwide in 2006, an increase of 1.9 percent over 2005.

Of the violent crimes, the estimated number of murders and no negligent manslaughters increased 1.8 percent, and that of robberies increased 7.2 percent.

Throughout 2006, US residents age 12 or above experienced an estimated 25 million crimes of violence and theft, according to the FBI report.

In the United States, about 30,000 people die from gun wounds every year, according to a Reuters story on December 19, 2007.

The USA Today reported on December 5, 2007 gun killings have climbed 13 percent overall since 2002.

On April 16, 2007, the Virginia Tech University witnessed the deadliest shooting rampage in modern US history with 33 killed and more than 30 others injured, according to AFP.

Two separate gun killings in the Salt Lake City and Philadelphia claimed eight lives and injured several other people on February 12, 2007, according to the Associated Press.

The report points out that law enforcement and judicial departments in the United States have abused their power and seriously violated the freedom and rights of its citizens.

Cases in which US law enforcement authorities allegedly violated victims' civil rights increased by 25 percent from fiscal year 2001 to 2007 over the previous seven years, according to statistics from US Department of Justice.

However, the majority of law enforcement officers accused of brutality were not prosecuted in the end.

From May 2001 to June 2006, 2,451 police officers in Chicago received 4 to 10 complaints each, 662 of them received more than 10 complaints each, but only 22 were punished. Furthermore, there were officers who had amassed more than 50 abuse complaints but were never disciplined in any fashion, according to statistics released by University of Chicago.

The United States of America is the world's largest prison and has the highest inmates/population ratio in the world. A December 5, 2007 report by EFE news agency quoted statistics of US Department of Justice as saying that the number of inmates in US prisons have increased by 500 percent over the last 30 years.

The freedom and rights of individual citizens are being increasingly marginalized in the United States, the report says.

Workers' right to unionize has been restricted in the United States. It was reported that union membership fell by 326,000 in 2006, bringing the percentage of employees in unions to 12 percent, down from 20 percent in 1983.

Employer resistance stopped 53 percent of nonunion workers from joining a union, The New York Times reported on January 26, 2007.

According to a report by the Human Rights Watch, when Wal-Mart stores faced unionization drives, the company often broke the law by, for example, eavesdropping on workers, training surveillance cameras on them and firing those who favored unions.

In the United States, money is "mother's milk" for politics while elections are "games" for the wealthy, highlighting the hypocrisy of the US democracy, which has been fully borne out by the 2008 presidential election.

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