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Report exposes human rights abuses in US
Updated: 2006-03-09 09:57

China issued Thursday the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2005 (read full text) in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2005 issued by the U.S. State Department on Wednesday.

Released by the Information Office of China's State Council, the Chinese report listed a multitude of cases to show the serious violations of human rights both in and outside the United States.

"As in previous years, the U.S. State Department pointed the finger at human rights situations in more than 190 countries and regions (including China) but kept silent on the violations of human rights in the United States," says the document.

To help people realize the true features of this self-styled "guardian of human rights," it is necessary to probe into the human rights abuses in the United States in 2005, it says.

This is the seventh consecutive year that China has issued human rights record of the United States to answer the U.S. State Department annual report.

The report contains more than 14,500 Chinese characters and is divided into seven parts: on life and security of person, on infringements upon human rights by law enforcement and judicial organs, on political rights and freedom, 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.

"For a long time, the life and security of the people of the United States has not been under efficient protection, and American society is characterized with rampant violent crimes," says the document.

The U.S. Justice Department reported on Sept. 25, 2005 that there were 5,182,670 violent crimes in the United States in 2004.

And there were 21.4 victims for every 1,000 people aged 12 and older, which amounts to about one violent crime victim for every 47 U.S. residents.

"There exist serious infringements upon personal rights and freedoms by law enforcement and judicial organs in the United States," says the record.

Secret snooping is prevalent and illegal detention occurs from time to time. The recently disclosed Snoopgate scandal has aroused keen attention of the public in the United States, according to the record.

After the Sept. 11 Attacks, the U.S. President has for dozens of times authorized the National Security Agency and other departments to wiretap some domestic phone calls.

With this authorization, the National Security Agency may conduct surveillance over phone calls and e-mails of 500 U.S. citizens at a time.

The document quotes media reports as saying that from 2002 through 2004, there were at least 287 cases in which the FBI agents were suspected of illegally conducting electronic surveillance.

On Jan. 9, 2006, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection announced that in the "anti-terrorism" fight, the U.S. customs has the right to open and inspect incoming private letters, which again sparked protests, according to the record.

"Police abuse is also very common in the United States," the report notes.

It quotes a report of the Los Angeles Times on July 14, 2005 as saying that Los Angeles police shot dead the 19-month-old daughter of a suspect when trying to arrest the suspect, which triggered public outcry.

And according to an AP story, on Oct. 9, five New Orleans police officers battered a 64-year-old retired teacher on the street while trying to arrest him, and he suffered injuries.

As the prisons in the U.S. were packed, the situation of prisoners worsened, according to the record.

During Hurricane Katrina, between Aug. 29 and Sept. 1, 2005, correctional officers from the New Orleans Sheriff's Department abandoned 600 inmates in a prison, as many were immersed in chest and neck level water and left without food, water, electricity, fresh air, or functioning facilities for four days and nights.

"The United States has always boasted itself as the 'model of democracy' and hawked its mode of democracy to the rest of the world. In fact, American 'democracy' is always one for the wealthy and a 'game for the rich'," says the report.

During the mayoral election of New York City in November 2005, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent 77.89 million U.S. dollars of his fortune for re-election. That came to more than 100U.S. dollars per vote.

The election was termed by the Associated Press as the most expensive mayoral re-election in history.

The United States is the world's richest country, however, it maintains the highest poverty rate among developed countries.

A study of eight advanced countries by the London School of Economics in 2005 found that the United States had the worst social inequality.

The poverty rate of the United States is the highest in the developed world and more than twice as high as in most other industrialized countries, the record quotes a report of Newsweek magazine as saying.

The United States is a multi-ethnic nation of immigrants, with minority ethnic groups accounting for more than one-fourth of its population. But racial discrimination has long been a chronic malady of American society, says the record.

According to The State of Black America 2005, the income level of African American families is only one-tenth of that of white families, and the welfare enjoyed by black Americans is only three-fourth of their white counterparts.

The United States does not have a good record in safeguarding rights of women and children, says the document.

A survey by the U.S. Census Bureau said the median earnings of women and men in 2004 were 31,223 and 40,798 U.S. dollars, respectively. The female-to-male earnings ratio was 77 percent.

In terms of the child poverty index, the United States ranked next to the last among 22 developed nations in the world.

"Pursuing unilateralism on the international arena, the U.S. government grossly violates the sovereignty and human rights of other countries in contempt of universally-recognized international norms," the report notes.

The U.S. government frequently commits wanton slaughters of innocents in its war efforts and military operations in other countries, it says.

The USA Today newspaper on Dec. 13, 2005 quoted a 2004 study published in the medical journal The Lancet as saying that it was estimated that about 100,000 Iraqis, mostly women and children, had died in the Iraqi war launched by the U.S. government in 2003.

In 2005, news of prisoner abuse by the U.S. forces again hit headlines, following their 2004 prisoner abuse scandal that stunned the world.

The record quotes media reports as saying that to extract information, the U.S. forces in Iraq employed various kinds of torture in their interrogations.

They abused the Iraqi detainees systematically, including sleep deprivation, tying them to the wall, hitting them with baseball bats, denying their access to water and food, forcing them to listen to extremely loud music in completely dark places for days running, unleashing dogs to bite them for amusement and even scaring them by putting them in the same cage with lions.

"For years, the U.S. government has ignored and concealed deliberately serious violations of human rights in its own country for fear of criticism, "says the report.

Yet it has issued annual reports making unwarranted charges on human rights practices of other countries, an act that fully exposes its hypocrisy and double standard on human rights issues, which has naturally met with strong resistance and opposition from other countries, the record notes.

"We urge the U.S. government to look squarely at its own human rights problems, reflect what it has done in the human rights field and take concrete measures to improve its own human rights status," it says.

"The U.S. government should stop provoking international confrontation on the issue of human rights, and make a fresh start to contribute more to international human rights cooperation and to the healthy development of international human rights cause," the report concludes.

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