China's Documentation of US Human Rights Abuses - by Stephen Lendman
On March 11, the US State Department issued its "2009 Human Rights Report: China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," calling the People's Republic of China (PRC) "an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitutionally is the paramount source of power," practicing:
-- "cultural and religious repression;"
-- harassment of human rights activists;
-- harassment and disbarment of lawyers who defend them;
-- control of free expression, the Internet, and access to it;
-- extrajudicial killings;
-- torture and coerced confessions of prisoners;
-- use of forced labor, including prison labor;
-- monitoring, harassing, detaining, arresting, and imprisoning "journalists, writers, dissidents, activists, petitioners, and defense lawyers and their families;"
-- denial of due process;
-- political control of courts and judges;
-- administrative detentions and prolonged illegal ones;
-- "tight restriction (on) freedom to assemble, practice religion, and travel;"
-- failure "to protect refugees and asylum-seekers adequately;"
-- forced repatriations of North Koreans;
-- pressure on other countries to repatriate Chinese citizens;
-- monitoring and restricting local and international NGOs;
-- "endemic corruption;
-- trafficking in persons;
-- discrimination against women, minorities, and persons with disabilities;
-- forced abortion(s and) sterilization(s);"
-- no choice of independent union representation or legal right to strike;
-- "arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life;"
-- harsh and degrading treatment in prisons;
-- arbitrary arrests and detentions;
-- "arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence;" and more.
While China is no model human rights champion, America is guilty of far worse crimes as well as all of the above abuses, yet rarely do major media reports reveal them.
On March 13, two days after the State Department's report, China's Information Office of the State Council published its own comprehensive report, titled: "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009," correctly saying America:
"released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009....posing as 'the world judge of human rights' again. As in previous years, the 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 (and those of other nations. China's report) is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States."
Countering official American mythology, its Information Office of the State Council presented an accurate account of what US propaganda suppresses, revealing some of what's known but publicly concealed about:
-- the world's most lawless state;
-- a society in social crisis;
-- a domestic armed camp under police state laws that suppress human rights and civil liberties, criminalize dissent, allow illegal spying, control information, persecute political prisoners for political advantage and deny them due process and judicial fairness;
-- torture as official US policy at home and abroad;
-- the operator of the world's largest global gulag;
-- systematic targeted killings;
-- permanent wars for unchallengeable dominance:
-- targeting peaceful nations;
-- committing ruthless state terror;
-- endangering world stability and peace;
-- illegally transferring public wealth to elitist private hands;
-- stealing elections;
-- governing as a one-party state with two wings, each as criminally ruthless and corrupted as the other, and;
-- as a result, is hated and feared globally and to a growing degree at home.
In its report, the State Department presented detailed charges (true or false), mostly without source substantiation.
China, however, covering six major topics, used data from the US Justice Department (DOJ), FBI, other US agencies, state ones, think tanks, and international and US media reports, revealing a far different America than portrayed in the mainstream and bogus official reports.
(1) Life, Property and Personal Security
Criminality in America is rampant, high crime rates threatening "lives, properties and personal security," including annually:
-- 4.9 million violent crimes;
-- 16.3 million property ones;
-- an epidemic of gun violence;
-- 30,000 gun-related deaths;
-- 14 million arrests (except traffic violations);
-- 15,000 murders (mostly against the poor);
-- thousands of violent school incidents; and more.
(2) Civil and Political Rights
"In the United States, civil and political rights of citizens are severely restricted and violated by the government."
Citing Amnesty International (AI), the Chicago Defender, a New York Police Department report, the Oregonian, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other sources, China reported nationwide instances of police violence, including lawless killings, beatings, Taser gun abuse, and more, including against children - concluding that "Abuse of power is common among US law enforcers."
In his 1990 book "Protectors of Privilege," Frank Donner called Chicago (this writer's home) "The National Capital of Police Repression," mostly against poor blacks and Latinos. He documented:
"wide-open, no-holds-barred style surveillance. Chicago-style official vigilantism guerrilla warfare against substantial sectors of the city's population," calling it "flamboyantly illegal institutionalized aggression." Unfortunately, what Chicago experiences, happens nationwide, in large and small cities and rural communities, making America repressively harsh against its least advantaged, most vulnerable people.
It shows up in poor neighborhoods and a shameful gulag, China citing Department of Justice (DOJ) and other data revealing some of the following statistics and more of its own, including as many as 2.4 million imprisoned Americans at yearend 2008 (by far, the world's largest prison population plus thousands of others abroad). They include inmates in federal and state facilities, local jails, Indian, juvenile, and military ones, US territories, and numbers held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In addition, another 7.3 million are under correctional supervision, and 13 million pass through US jails annually. Half of them are for non-violent offenses. Half of those are drug-related. In 1980, 40,000 drug offenders were in prison. Today, it's over 500,000, the result of the "war on drugs," that's part of the war on civil liberties and human rights.
China says "the basic rights of (US) prisoners" aren't protected, evidenced by rampant sexual abuse and thousands of rapes annually in federal confinement. "Chaotic management of (US) prisons also (causes) widespread diseases among inmates," including thousands of confirmed HIV/AIDs cases.
Other civil rights abuses include lawless surveillance, police state laws like the Patriot Act, subordinating free expression to the national interest, clashing with peaceful street demonstrators, and numerous other examples of growing despotism.
(3) Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
America is plagued by growing poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and hunger. Its peoples' "economic, social and cultural rights cannot be guaranteed." Business and personal bankruptcies, bank failures, home foreclosures, and human depravation are the highest in decades.
In addition, worker rights "were seriously violated," according to a New York Times 2009 study showing 68% of those surveyed getting wage cuts, another 76% working overtime cheated out of pay, and 57% denied documents to assure legal, accurate compensation. Tens of millions lack medical insurance or are underinsured, legislation passed to correct this, in fact, a bogus deception that will make America's dysfunctional health care system worse for a greater number of people.
(4) Racial Discrimination Against Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, Immigrants of Color, and Native Americans
It rages out of control in areas of income, housing, employment, education, judicial fairness, incarceration, life imprisonment, the death penalty, drug-related arrests, and more. In addition, "Ethnic hatred crimes are frequent."
(5) Rights of Women and Children
"The living conditions of women and children in the United States are deteriorating and their rights are not properly guaranteed. Women do not enjoy equal social and political status as men." It shows up in employment opportunities, income levels, politics, the military, academia, violence including sexual abuse, and perceptions of women as sex objects, homemakers, and child bearers.
"American children suffer from hunger and cold," a US Department of Agriculture 2008 report showing one-fourth of them nationally were poorly fed. Many face hunger and malnutrition, live in impoverished households, lack proper medical care, experience violence and/or sexual abuse, and many become homeless every year. Most are blacks and Indians.
Many others are unprotected farm workers, forced into near bondage, living in impoverished misery along with their parents in states like Florida, California, Texas, North Carolina and Washington.
America "is the only country in the world" without a parole system for minors, and one of only two nations imposing life without parole (LWOP) sentences. The other is Israel. Many charged with minor crimes get no legal assistance. In prisons, officials turn a blind eye to their abusive treatment.
(6) Human Rights Violations Against Other Nations
"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 largest arms dealer, it fuels global instability. Its military spending tops all other nations combined. Its Iraq and Afghan wars have greatly burdened the American people "and brought tremendous casualties and property losses to" conflict states.
"Prisoner abuse is one of (America's) biggest human rights scandals," well documented in 2009, including by the UN's Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Clear evidence was presented regarding illegal long-term secret detentions, special deportations, torture, other forms of abuse and degrading treatment, and overall lawlessness suppressed in mainstream US media reports.
China's is accurate and revealing. It could have included more, but presents a disturbing account of the real America, not the fictional one portrayed daily on TV screens, films, major publication accounts, what's taught in schools or preached in houses of worship - a sanitized version of what growing millions experience daily and what Blacks, the poor, Muslims, Latino immigrants, and Native Americans have known all their lives as well as America's global victims.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.