China issues report on US human rights situation

Indo Asian News Service

Beijing, March 9 (IANS) China on Thursday published a report on the human rights situation in the United States.

The report, titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2016", was released by the Information Office of the State Council, in response to "The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016" issued by the US State Department on March 3, Xinhua news agency reported.

The report said the US poses once again as "the judge of human rights".

"Wielding 'the baton of human rights', it pointed fingers and cast blame on the human rights situation in many countries while paying no attention to its own terrible human rights problems," the report said.

"With the gunshots lingering in people's ears behind the Statue of Liberty, worsening racial discrimination and the election farce dominated by money politics, the self-proclaimed human rights defender has exposed its human rights 'myth' with its own deeds."

Concrete facts show that the US saw continued deterioration in some key aspects of its existent human rights issues last year, according to the report.

The US had the second-highest prisoner rate, with 693 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population.

Roughly 2.2 million people were incarcerated in the US in 2014. And there had been 70 million Americans incarcerated -- that's almost one in three adults -- with some form of criminal record, the report cites media reports as saying.

There were a total of 58,125 gun violence incidents, including 385 mass shootings, in the US in 2016, leaving 15,039 killed and 30,589 injured, says the report, citing figures from a toll report by the Gun Violence Archive.

In 2016, the US social polarisation became more serious, with the proportion of adults who had full-time jobs hitting a new low since 1983, income gaps continuing to widen, the size of middle class reaching a turning point and beginning to shrink, and living conditions of the lower class deteriorating, the report said.

According to consulting firm Gallup, the percentage of Americans who said they were in the middle- or upper-middle class had fallen by 10 percentage points, from an average of 61 per cent between 2000 and 2008 to 51 per cent in 2016.

"That drop meant 25 million people in the US fared much worse in economic terms," the report said.

In 2016, racial relations in the United States continued to deteriorate, the report added, with the wage gap between blacks and whites the worst in nearly four decades.

"The situation of protection of rights of women, children and elders in the US was worrisome in 2016," the report noted.

Women were paid much less compared to their male colleagues who do the same work, and they frequently fell victims to sexual harassment and assault. Poverty rate among children remained high and cases of elder-abuse happened from time to time, according to the report.

An estimated 6.8 million people aged 10 to 17 in the US are food insecure, according to the report.

In addition, "the United States repeatedly trampled on human rights in other countries and willfully slaughtered innocent victims," the report said.

From August 8, 2014, to December 19, 2016, the US launched 7,258 air strikes in Iraq and 5,828 in Syria, causing 733 incidents with an estimated number of civilian deaths between 4,568 and 6,127, the report added.