China grills US in human rights report
Updated: 2014-02-28 17:07
BEIJING - China published a report on the United States' human rights record on Friday, in response to US criticism and "irresponsible remarks" about China.
"The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013" was released by the Information Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, in response to "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013" made public by the US State Department on Thursday.
China's report states that there were serious human rights problems in the US in 2013, with the situation deteriorating in many fields. Once again posing as "the world judge of human rights", the US government "made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks" on almost 200 countries and regions, the report says.
The United States carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems, according to the report.
THE WORLD THROUGH PRISM
The US government spies on its own citizens to a "massive and unrestrained" degree, the report says.
The report calls the US PRISM surveillance program, a vast, long-term mechanism for spying on private citizens both at home and abroad, "a blatant violation of international law" and says it "seriously infringes human rights."
The US intelligence services, by virtue of data provided by Internet and telecom companies -- including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo -- "recklessly" track citizens' private contacts and social activities.
KILLER ROBOTS AND DEAD CONVENTIONS
The report quantifies drone strikes by the US in countries, including Pakistan and Yemen, which have caused heavy civilian casualties. In Pakistan alone, since 2004, the US has carried out 376 drone strikes killing 926 civilians.
The US has not ratified, or participated in, a series of core UN conventions on human rights, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT
Solitary confinement is prevalent in the US, the report says.
In US prisons, inmates in solitary confinement are enclosed in cramped cells with poor ventilation and little or no natural light, isolated from other prisoners; a situation that takes it toll on inmates' physical and mental health.
About 80,000 US prisoners are in solitary confinement. Some have been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years.
RAMPANT GUN VIOLENCE
The rampant US gun culture breeds violence that results in the death of 11,000 Americans every year.
The report cites figures from the FBI that state firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation's murders, 41 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults.
In 2013, 137 people were killed in 30 mass murder events (four or more deaths each).
A rampage in the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington D.C. left 12 people dead, according to the report.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND HOMELESSNESS
"The US still faces a grave employment situation with its unemployment rate still high," the report says.
Unemployment for low-income families has topped 21 percent. The homeless population in the US has climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013.
There are also many child laborers in the agricultural sector in the US and their physical and mental health is seriously compromised, the report says.
Friday's report was the 15th such annual report published by China in response to US attacks.
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