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Report says US crimes in Mideast violate human rights

By ZHAO RUINAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-10 07:23

Refugee children gather around a fire at a camp in Idlib, Syria, during a harsh winter in January. Amid the bitter cold, many civilians were forced to burn their clothes in an effort to stay warm. MUHAMMED SAID/GETTY IMAGES

The United States has committed serious crimes in the Middle East and surrounding areas, which runs counter to international law and severely violates the human rights of local people, according to a report released on Tuesday by the China Society for Human Rights Studies.

The report, titled "US Commits Serious Crimes of Violating Human Rights in the Middle East and Beyond", revealed Washington's systematic violations of human rights, including launching wars, massacring innocent civilians, imposing unilateral sanctions that infringe on people's basic rights and creating a "clash of civilizations".

Since the end of the Cold War, the US has been involved in almost all major conflicts and wars in the Middle East and surrounding regions-the area hardest hit by the wars launched by the US, the report said.

Facts show that the US has seriously violated the basic human rights of people in the Middle East and other places, causing permanent damage and irreparable losses to countries and people in the region, it added.

Meng Qingtao, a professor of human rights studies at Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing, condemned Washington's war crimes and unilateral sanctions in the Middle East and the surrounding areas as "seriously violating international law, undermining the international order and severely infringing on the basic human rights of the local people".

He said the purpose of the US is to maintain global supremacy.

"Washington's foreign policy and the practical measures are designed to serve the fundamental interests of the US. 'American supremacy' is the guiding ideology behind its series of menacing behaviors," he said.

According to Smithsonian magazine, since 2001, wars and military operations launched by the US in the name of "anti-terrorism" have covered "about 40 percent of the countries on the planet".

The Costs of War Project of Brown University in the US said that more than 174,000 people died in the war in Afghanistan, of whom more than 47,000 were civilians.

The China Society for Human Rights Studies' report said that the US has abused the use of unilateral sanctions against sovereign countries, causing severe economic losses and a decline in the quality of life of people in those countries.

According to the US government's Treasury 2021 Sanctions Review, the US had more than 9,400 sanctions in effect as of fiscal year 2021.

Since 1979, the US has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran and other countries, the society's report said. The Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996, for example, forbade foreign companies from investing in Iran's or Libya's energy industry and implemented long-arm jurisdiction, which was gravely harmful and had a far-reaching impact, it said.

Furthermore, after withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan in 2021, the US not only imposed economic sanctions on Afghanistan, but also froze billions of dollars of foreign exchange reserves of the Afghan central bank, bringing the Afghan economy to the brink of collapse and worsening the lives of the people, the report said.

Meng, the Southwest University of Political Science and Law professor, said that the "irresponsible involvement" of the US in Middle East affairs has exacerbated conflict and chaos in the region.

"The US has seriously damaged the political, economic and military ecology in the Middle East, while bringing misery and disasters to the local community," Meng said. "Moreover, negative spillover effects have also been seen in other regions, including Europe and Asia."

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