China Friday retorted U.S. criticism by publishing its own report on the U.S. human rights record.
“As in previous years, the (U.S.) reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory,” said the Information Office of the State Council in its report on the U.S. human rights record.
The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 was in retaliation to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009 issued by the U.S. Department of State on March 11.
The report is “prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States,” said the report.
The report reviewed the human rights record of the United States in 2009 from six perspectives: life, property and personal security; civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; racial discrimination; rights of women and children; and the U.S.’ violation of human rights against other countries.
It criticized the United States for taking human rights as “a political instrument to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests.”
China advised the U.S. government to draw lessons from the history, put itself in a correct position, strive to improve its own human rights conditions and rectify its acts in the human rights field.
This is the 11th consecutive year that the Information Office of China’s State Council has issued a human rights record of the United States to answer the U.S. State Department’s annual report.
“At a time when the world is suffering a serious human rights disaster caused by the U.S. subprime crisis-induced global financial crisis, the U.S. government still ignores its own serious human rights problems but revels in accusing other countries. It is really a pity,” the report said.
Spying on citizens
While advocating “freedom of speech,” “freedom of the press” and “Internet freedom,” the U.S. government unscrupulously monitors and restricts the citizens’ rights to freedom when it comes to its own interests and needs, the report said.
The U.S. citizens’ freedom to access and distribute information is under strict supervision, it said.
According to media reports, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) started installing specialized eavesdropping equipment around the country to wiretap calls, faxes, and emails and collect domestic communications as early as 2001.
The wiretapping program was originally targeted at Arab-Americans, but soon grew to include other Americans.
After the September 11 attack, the U.S. government, in the name of anti-terrorism, authorized its intelligence authorities to hack into its citizens’ mail communications, and to monitor and erase any information that might threaten the U.S. national interests on the Internet through technical means, the report said.
Statistics showed that from 2002 to 2006, the FBI collected thousands of phones records of U.S. citizens through mails, notes and phone calls.
In September 2009, the country set up an Internet security supervision body, further worrying U.S. citizens that the U.S. government might use Internet security as an excuse to monitor and interfere with personal systems.
The so-called “freedom of the press” of the United States was in fact completely subordinate to its national interests, and was manipulated by the U.S. government, the report said.
At yearend 2009, the U.S. Congress passed a bill which imposed sanctions on several Arab satellite channels for broadcasting contents hostile to the U.S. and instigating violence.
Racial discrimination a chronic problem
Racial discrimination is still a chronic problem of the United States, the report said.
Black people and other minorities are the most impoverished groups in the United States.
According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Census, the real median income for American households in 2008 was 50,303 U.S. dollars, but the median incomes of Hispanic and black households were roughly 68 percent and 61.6 percent of that of the non-Hispanic white households.
And the median income of minority groups was about 60 to 80 percent of that of majority groups under the same conditions of education and skill background, the report added.
Ethnic minorities have been subject to serious racial discrimination in employment and workplace, the report said.
Minority groups bear the brunt of the U.S. unemployment. According to news reports, the U.S. unemployment rate in October 2009 was 10.2 percent. The jobless rate of the U.S. African-Americans jumped to 15.7 percent, that of the Hispanic rose to 13.1 percent and that of the white was 9.5 percent, the USA Today reported.
The U.S. minority groups face discriminations in education. According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Census, 33 percent of the non-Hispanic white has college degrees, proportion of the black was only 20 percent and Hispanic was 13 percent.
Racial discrimination in law enforcement and judicial system is very distinct. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, by the end of 2008, 3,161 men and 149 women per 100,000 persons in the U.S. black population were under imprisonment.
And a report released by New York City Police Department said that of the people involved in police shootings whose ethnicity could be determined in 2008, 75 percent were black, 22 percent were Hispanic; and 3 percent were white.
Ethnic hatred crimes are frequent. According to statistics released by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, a total of 7,783 hatred crimes occurred in 2008 in the United States, 51.3 percent of which were originated by racial discrimination and 19.5 percent were for religious bias and 11.5 percent were for national origins.
Widespread violent crimes
Widespread violent crimes in the United States posed threats to the lives, properties and personal security of its people, the report said.
In 2008, U.S. residents experienced 4.9 million violent crimes, 16.3 million property crimes and 137,000 personal thefts, and the violent crime rate was 19.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons aged 12 or over.
About 30,000 people die from gun-related incidents each year. According to an FBI report, there had been 14,180 murder victims in 2008, the report said.
Campuses became an area worst hit by violent crimes as shootings spread there and kept escalating. The U.S. Heritage Foundation reported that 11.3 percent of high school students in Washington D.C. reported being “threatened or injured” with a weapon while on school property during the 2007-2008 school year.
Abuse of power
The country’s police frequently impose violence on the people and abuse of power is common among U.S. law enforcers, the report said,
Over the past two years, the number of New York police officers under review for garnering too many complaints was up 50 percent.
In major U.S. cities, police stop, question and frisk more than a million people each year, a sharply higher number than just a few years ago.
Prisons in the United State are packed with inmates. About 2.3 million were held in custody of prisons and jails, the equivalent of about one in every 198 persons in the country, according to the report.
From 2000 to 2008, the U.S. prison population increased an average of 1.8 percent annually.
The basic rights of prisoners in the United States are not well-protected. Raping cases of inmates by prison staff members are widely reported, the report said.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, reports of sexual misconduct by prison staff members with inmates in the country’s 93 federal prison sites doubled over the past eight years.
According to a federal survey of more than 63,000 federal and state inmates, 4.5 percent reported being sexually abused at least once during the previous 12 months.
Poverty leads to rising number of suicides
The report said the population in poverty was the largest in 11 years.
The Washington Post reported that altogether 39.8 million Americans were living in poverty by the end of 2008, an increase of 2.6 million from that in 2007. The poverty rate in 2008 was 13.2 percent, the highest since 1998.
Poverty led to a sharp rise in the number of suicides in the United States. It is reported that there are roughly 32,000 suicides in the U.S. every year, double the cases of murder, said the report.
Workers’ rights not properly guaranteed
Workers’ rights were seriously violated in the United States, the report said.
The New York Times reported that about 68 percent of the 4,387 low-wage workers in a survey said they had experienced reduction of wages and 76 percent of those who had worked overtime were not paid accordingly.
The number of people without medical insurance has kept rising for eight consecutive years, the report said.
Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed 46.3 million people were without medical insurance in 2008, accounting for 15.4 percent of the total population, comparing with 45.7 million people who were without medical insurance in 2007, which was a rise for the eighth year in a row.
Women, children frequent victims of violence
Women are frequent victims of violence and sexual assault in the United States, while children are exposed to violence and living in fear, the report said.
It is reported that the United States has the highest rape rate among countries which report such statistics. It is 13 times higher than that of England and 20 times higher than that of Japan.
Reuters reported that based on in-depth interviews on 40 servicewomen, 10 said they had been raped, five said they were sexually assaulted including attempted rape, and 13 reported sexual harassment.
It is reported that 1,494 children younger than 18 nationwide were murdered in 2008, the USA Today reported.
A survey conducted by the U.S. Justice Department on 4,549 kids and adolescents aged 17 and younger between January and May of 2008 showed, more than 60 percent of children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly.
Trampling upon other countries ‘ sovereignty, human rights
The report said the United States with its strong military power has pursued hegemony in the world, trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and trespassing their human rights.
As the world’s biggest arms seller, its deals have greatly fueled instability across the world. The United States also expanded its military spending, already the largest in the world, by 10 percent in 2008 to 607 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 42 percent of the world total, the AP reported.
At the beginning of 2010, the U.S. government announced a 6.4-billion-U.S. dollar arms sales package to Taiwan despite strong protest from the Chinese government and people, which seriously damaged China’s national security interests and aroused strong indignation among the Chinese people, it said.
The wars of Iraq and Afghanistan have placed heavy burden on American people and brought tremendous casualties and property losses to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the report.
Prisoner abuse is one of the biggest human rights scandals of the United States, it said
An investigation by U.S. Justice Department showed 2,000 Taliban surrendered combatants were suffocated to death by the U.S. army-controlled Afghan armed forces, the report said.
The United States has been building its military bases around the world, and cases of violation of local people’s human rights are often seen, the report said.
The United States is now maintaining 900 bases worldwide, with more than 190,000 military personnel and 115,000 relevant staff stationed.
These bases are bringing serious damage and environmental contamination to the localities. Toxic substances caused by bomb explosions are taking their tolls on the local children, it said.
It has been reported that toward the end of the U.S. military bases’ presence in Subic and Clark Philippines, as many as 3,000 cases of raping local women had been filed against the U.S. servicemen, but all were dismissed, according to the report.