Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011
Updated: 2012-05-25 21:42
The US-led wars, albeit alleged to be "humanitarian intervention" efforts and for "the rise of a new democratic nation," created humanitarian disasters instead. For Iraqis, the death toll in the US-initiated Iraq war stands at 655,000 (Tribune Business News, December 15, 2011).
According to figures released by the Iraq Body Count, at least 103,536 civilians were killed in the Iraq war (Reuters, December 18, 2011). In 2011, there were an average of 6.5 deaths per day from suicide attacks and vehicle bombs (www.iraqbodycount.org). It is estimated that civilian casualties in the military campaign in Afghanistan could exceed 31,000 (Tribune Business News, October 17, 2011).
According to a news report, on May 28, 2011, a US-led NATO airstrike killed 14 civilians and wounded six others in the southern region of Afghanistan (The New York Times, May 29, 2011). Separately, on May 25, a total of 18 Afghan civilians and 20 police were killed in a NATO airstrike in the province of Nuristan (BBC News, May 29, 2011).
The British newspaper The Guardian reported on March 11, 2012, that an American soldier stationed in Afghanistan burst into three civilian homes in two villages in the small hours of March 11, shot dead 16 sleeping Afghan villagers, injured five others, and burned the dead bodies. The victims included nine children and three women.
According to a Reuters report, witness accounts said there were several US soldiers involved (Reuters, March 11, 2012). Another dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) report quoted a member of the Afghan parliamentary investigative team as saying that there were 15 to 20 soldiers who had conducted the night raid operation in several areas in the village.
The source also told dpa that some of the Afghan women who were killed were sexually assaulted, according to the findings (dpa, March 18, 2012). Such "American-style massacre" against innocent civilians has once again pierced the veil of the United States proclaiming itself "a country under the rule of law" and "a human rights defender."
Incomplete statistics revealed that the United States has launched more than 60 drone attacks in Pakistan in 2011, killing at least 378 people (USA Today, January 11, 2012; Newamerica.net). The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan increased 15 percent in the first half of 2011 over the same period of 2010 (The New York Times, August 6, 2011).
According to media reports, on the night of February 20, 2012, some American soldiers of the NATO troops at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan transported copies of Koran and other religious books to a rubbish pit and burnt them (BBC News, February 23, 2012). The acts of desecration of Koran have sparked strong protests and large-scale demonstration activities among the people across Afghanistan as well as in countries of Pakistan and Bengal (www.pakistantoday.com.pk; www.firstpost.com).
The United States does not support the right to development, which is a concern of most of the developing countries. In September 2011, the 18th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on "the right to development." Except an abstention vote from the United States, all the HRC members voted for the resolution.
The United States continues its conducts that seriously violate the right of subsistence and right of development of Cuban people. On October 26, 2011, the 66th session of the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution titled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba," the 20th such resolution in a row. A total of 186 countries voted in favor of the resolution, three countries abstained, and only the United States and Israel voted against the resolution. The resolution urged the United States to repeal or invalid the almost 50-year-long economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba as soon as possible (www.un.org).
The United States, however, continues to defy the resolution. The blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba qualifies as an act of genocide under Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted in 1948.
The above-mentioned facts are but a small yet illustrative enough fraction of the United States' dismal record on its human rights situation. The United States' own tarnished human rights record has made it in no condition, on moral, political or legal basis, to act as the world's "human rights justice," to place itself above other countries and release the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries.
We hereby advise the US government once again to look squarely at its own grave human rights problems, to stop the unpopular practices of taking human rights as a political instrument for interference in other countries' internal affairs, smearing other nations'images and seeking its own strategic interests, and to cease using double standards on human rights and pursuing hegemony under the pretext of human rights.