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China hits back with report on US human rights record

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-21 10:35

BEIJING - China on Sunday retorted the US criticism and distortions of its human rights situation by publishing a report of the US human rights record.

The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012 was released by the Information Office of China's State Council, or the Cabinet, in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 issued by the US State Department.

China in the report argued that there are serious human rights problems in the US which incur extensive criticism in the world, as it has posed as "the world judge of human rights" again.

"As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China," China said in its report. "However, the US turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it."

Closer Surveillance of Citizens

US citizens' civil and political rights were further restricted by the government, the report says.

The US government continues to step up surveillance of ordinary citizens, restricting and reducing the freedom of the US society to a considerable extent, and seriously violating the freedom of citizens, according to the report.

The US congress approved a bill in 2012 that authorized the government to conduct warrantless wiretapping and electronic communications monitoring, a move that violated people's rights to privacy.

According to documents released by the American Civil Liberties Union in last September, federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring American's electronic communications.

The National Security Agency collects purely domestic communications of Americans in a "significant and systematic" way, intercepting and storing 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other types of communications every day, the report says.

Also, the police often abused their power, resulting in increasing complaints and charges for infringement upon civil rights, the report said.

The proportion of women in the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault kept increasing in the US, it adds.

More Violent Crimes Involving Guns

Firearms-related crimes posed serious threat to the lives and personal security of citizens in the U.S, the report says.

Last year, several shootings left astonishing casualties, such as the school shooting in Oakland, the Century 16 theater shooting in Colorado and the school shooting in Connecticut.

Americans are the most heavily armed people in the world per capita and firearms-related violent crimes posed as one of the most serious threats to the lives and personal security of the US citizens, the report said.

According to a CNN report in last July, there were an estimated 270 million guns in the hands of civilians in the US and more than 100,000 people were shot by guns each year. In 2010, there were more than 30,000 deaths caused by firearms.

However, the US government has done little in gun control, the report says. MONEY WARS IN POLITICS

The US citizens have never really enjoyed common and equal suffrage, the report said.

Despite an increase of over eight million citizens in the eligible population in the US presidential election of 2012, voter turnout registered a drop of five million from four years before, with only 57.5 percent of eligible citizens voting, according to the report.

The US election is like money wars, with trends of the country's policies deeply influenced by political donations, it says.

The 2012 election had an estimated cost totaling six billion US dollars with both groups having funding support from business giants, it says.

Worsening Poverty, Income Gap

Poverty in the US has increasingly worsened since the global financial crisis in 2008, the report says.

The poverty rate in the US was 15 percent in 2011, with 46.2 million people in poverty, according to the US Census Bureau data released in last September.

The gap between the rich and poor is growing in the US over the years, the report adds.

The US has the fourth worst income inequality compared to other developed countries, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Its Gini index was 0.477 in 2011 and income inequality increased by 1.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, indicating a widened rich-poor gap.

Violating Human Rights in Other Nations

The US seriously infringed upon human rights of other nations, the report says.

Since the end of the Cold War, the US has waged wars on other countries most frequently. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both started by the US, have caused massive civilian casualties.

From 2001 to 2011, the US-led "war on terror" killed between 14,000 and 110,000 per year, said the report, quoting an article posted on the website of Stop the War Coalition in last June.

In 2012, US military operations in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan caused massive civilian casualties, the report said.

Also, US soldiers had severely blasphemed against local residents' religion by burning copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and insulting bodies of the dead, it says.

There was a huge rise in birth defects in Iraq since the war against Iraq with military actions in which American forces used metal contaminant-releasing white phosphorus shells and depleted uranium bombs.

The US army has for long detained foreigners illegally at the Guantanamo prison. By January 2012, 171 people were still held there.

The US was not able to effectively participate in international cooperation on human rights, the report says.

To date, the US remains a country which has not participated in or ratified a series of core UN conventions on human rights, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, according to the report.

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