Human Rights Record of United States in 2010

Editor’s note: China’s Information Office of the State Council, or cabinet, published a report titled “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010” on Sunday. Following is the full text:

The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010 on April 8, 2011. As in previous years, the reports are full of distortions and accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010 is prepared to urge the United States to face up to its own human rights issues.

Demonstrators in orange jumpsuits and hoods file in for a rally to urge US President Barack Obama to close the US-controlled detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on its 9th anniversary in Washington on Jan 11

I. On Life, Property and Personal Security

The United States reports the world’s highest incidence of violent crimes, and its people’s lives, properties and personal security are not duly protected.

Every year, one out of every five people is a victim of a crime in the United States. No other nation on earth has a rate that is higher (10 Facts About Crime in the United States that Will Blow Your Mind, Beforitsnews.com). In 2009, an estimated 4.3 million violent crimes, 15.6 million property crimes and 133,000 personal thefts were committed against US residents aged 12 or older, and the violent crime rate was 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons, according to a report published by the US Department of Justice on Oct 13, 2010 (Criminal Victimization 2009, US Department of Justice, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov). The crime rate surged in many cities in the US. St. Louis in Missouri reported more than 2,070 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, making it the nation’s most dangerous city (The Associated Press, Nov 22, 2010). Detroit residents experienced more than 15,000 violent crimes each year, which means the city has 1,600 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. The United States’ four big cities – Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York – reported increases in murders in 2010 from the previous year (USA Today, December 5, 2010). Twenty-five murder cases occurred in Los Angeles County in a week from March 29 to April 4, 2010; and in the first half of 2010, 373 people were killed in murders in Los Angeles County (www.lapdonline.org). As of Nov 11, New York City saw 464 homicide cases, up 16 percent from the 400 reported at the same time last year (The Washington Post, Nov 12, 2010).

The US exercised lax control on the already rampant gun ownership. Reuters reported on Nov 10, 2010 that the United States ranks first in the world in terms of the number of privately-owned guns. Some 90 million people own an estimated 200 million guns in the United States, which has a population of about 300 million. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on June 28, 2010 that the second amendment of the US Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms that can not be violated by state and local governments, thus extending the Americans’ rights to own a gun for self-defense purposes to the entire country (The Washington Post, June 29, 2010). Four US states – Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia and Virginia – allow loaded guns in bars. And 18 other states allow weapons in restaurants that serve alcohol (The New York Times, Oct 3, 2010). Tennessee has nearly 300,000 handgun permit holders. The Washington Times reported on June 7, 2010 that in November 2008, a total of 450,000 more people in the United States purchased firearms than had bought them in November 2007. This was a more than 10-fold increase, compared with the change in sales from November 2007 over November 2006. From November 2008 to October 2009, almost 2.5 million more people bought guns than had done so in the preceding 12 months (The Washington Times, June 7, 2010). The frequent campus shootings in colleges in the United States came to the spotlight in recent years. The United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph reported on Feb 21, 2011 that a new law that looks certain to pass through the legislature in Texas, the United States, would allow half a million students and teachers in its 38 public colleges to carry guns on campus. It would become only the second state, after Utah, to enforce such a rule.

The United States had high incidence of gun-related blood-shed crimes. Statistics showed there were 12,000 gun murders a year in the United States (The New York Times, Sept 26, 2010). Figures released by the US Department of Justice on Oct 13, 2010 showed weapons were used in 22 percent of all violent crimes in the United States in 2009, and about 47 percent of robberies were committed with arms (www.ojp.usdoj.gov, Oct 13, 2010). On March 30, 2010, five men killed four people and seriously injured five others in a deadly drive-by shooting (The Washington Post, April 27, 2010). In April, six separate shootings occurred overnight, leaving 16 total people shot, two fatally (www.myfoxchicago.com). On April 3, a deadly shooting at a restaurant in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, left four people dead and two others wounded (www.nbclosangeles.com, April 4, 2010). One person was killed and 21 others wounded in separate shootings around Chicago roughly between May 29 and 30 (www.chicagobreakingnews.com, May 30, 2010). In June, 52 people were shot at a weekend in Chicago (www.huffingtonpost.com, June 21, 2010). Three police officers were shot dead by assailants in the three months from May to July (Chicago Tribune, July 19, 2010).

A total of 303 people were shot and 33 of them were killed in Chicago in the 31 days of July in 2010. Between Nov 5 and 8, four people were killed and at least five others injured in separate shootings in Oakland (World Journal, Nov 11, 2010). On Nov 30, a 15-year-old boy in Marinette County, Wisconsin, took his teacher and 24 classmates hostage at gunpoint (abcNews, Nov 30, 2010). On Jan 8, 2011, a deadly rampage critically wounded US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Six people were killed and 12 others injured in the attack (Los Angeles Times, Jan 9, 2011).

II. On Civil and Political Rights

In the United States, the violation of citizens’ civil and political rights by the government is severe.

Citizen’ s privacy has been undermined. According to figures released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in September 2010, more than 6,600 travelers had been subject to electronic device searches between Oct 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, nearly half of them American citizens. A report on The Wall Street Journal on Sept 7, 2010, said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was sued over its policies that allegedly authorize the search and seizure of laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices without a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. The policies were claimed to leave no limit on how long the DHS can keep a traveler’ s devices or on the scope of private information that can be searched, copied or detained. There is no provision for judicial approval or supervision. When Colombian journalist Hollman Morris sought a US student visa so he could take a fellowship for journalists at Harvard University, his application was denied on July 17, 2010, as he was ineligible under the “terrorist activities” section of the USA Patriot Act. An Arab American named Yasir Afifi, living in California, found the FBI attached an electronic GPS tracking device near the right rear wheel of his car. In August, ACLU, joined by the Asian Law Caucus and the San Francisco Bay Guardian weekly, had filed a lawsuit to expedite the release of FBI records on the investigation and surveillance of Muslim communities in the Bay Area. The San Francisco FBI office has declined to comment on the matter “because it’ s still an ongoing investigation.” (The Washington Post, Oct 13, 2010). In October 2010, the Transportation Security Administration raised the security level at US airports requiring passengers to go through a full-body scanner machine or pat-downs. It also claimed that passengers can not refuse the security check based on their religious beliefs. Civil rights groups contended the more intensive screening violates civil liberties including freedom of religion, the right to privacy and the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches (AP, Nov 16, 2010). The ACLU and the U.S. Travel Association have been getting thousands of complaints about airport security measures (The Christian Science Monitor, Nov 20, 2010).

Abuse of violence and torturing suspects to get confession is serious in the US law enforcement. According to a report of Associated Press on Oct 14, 2010, the New York Police Department (NYPD) paid about $964 million to resolve claims against its officers over the past decade. Among them was a case that an unarmed man was killed in a 50-bullet police shooting on his wedding day. The three police officers were acquitted of manslaughter and the NYDP simply settled the case with money (China Press, Oct 15, 2010). In a country that boasts “judicial justice,” what justice did the above-mentioned victims get? In June 2010, a federal jury found former Chicago police lieutenant Jon Burge guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. Burge and officers under his command shocked, suffocated and burned suspects into giving confessions in the 1970s and 1980s (The Boston Globe, Nov 5, 2010). According to a report on Chicago Tribune on May 12, 2010, Chicago Police was charged with arresting people without warrants, shackling them to the wall or metal benches, feeding them infrequently and holding them without bathroom breaks and giving them no bedding, which were deemed consistent with tactics of “soft torture” used to extract involuntary confessions. On March 22, a distraught homeless man was shot dead in Potland, Oregon, by four shots from a police officer (China Press, April 1, 2010). An off-duty Westminster police officer was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a woman on April 3 while a corrections officer was accused of being an accessory (Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2010). On April 17 in Seattle, Washington, a gang detective and patrol officer kicked a suspect and verbally assaulted him (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 10, 2010). On March 24, Chad Holley, 15, was brutally beaten by eight police officers in Houston. The teen claimed he was face down on the ground while officers punched him in the face and kneed him in the back. After a two-month-long investigation, four officers were indicted and fired (Houston Chronicle, May 4, June 23, 2010).

On Aug 11, three people were injured by police shooting when police officers chased a stolen van in Prince George’ s County. Family members of the three injured argued why the police fired into the van when nobody on the van fired at them (The Washington Post, Aug 14, 2010). On September 5, 2010, a Los Angeles police officer killed a Guatemalan immigrant by two shots and triggered a large scale protest. Police clashed with protesters and arrested 22 of them (The New York Times, Sept 8, 2010). On Nov 5, 2010, a large demonstration took place in Oakland against a Los Angeles court verdict which put Johannes Mehserle, a police officer, to two years in prison as he shot and killed unarmed African American Oscar Grant two years ago. Police arrested more than 150 people in the protest (San Francisco Chronicle, Nov 9, 2010).

The United States has always called itself “land of freedom,” but the number of inmates in the country is the world’ s largest. According to a report released by the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project in 2008, one in every 100 adults in the US are in jail and the figure was one in every 400 in 1970. By 2011, America will have more than 1.7 million men and women in prison, an increase of 13 percent over that of 2006. The sharp increase will lead to overcrowding prisons. California prisons now hold 164,000 inmates, double their intended capacity (The Wall Street Journal, Dec 1, 2010). In a New Beginnings facility for the worst juvenile offenders in Washington DC, only 60 beds are for 550 youths who in 2009 were charged with the most violent crimes. Many of them would violate the laws again without proper care or be subject to violent crimes (The Washington Post, Aug 28, 2010). Due to poor management and conditions, unrest frequently occurred in prisons. According to a report on Chicago Tribune on July 18, 2010, more than 20 former Cook County inmates filed suit saying they were handcuffed or shackled during labor while in the custody, leaving serious physical and psychological damage. On Oct 19, 2010, at least 129 inmates took part in a riot at Calipatria State Prison, leaving two dead and a dozen injured (China Press, Oct 20, 2010). In November, AP released a video showing an inmate, being beaten by a fellow inmate in an Idaho prison, managed to plead for help through a prison guard station window but officers looked on and no one intervened until he was knocked unconscious. The prison was dubbed “gladiator school” (China Press, Nov 2, 2010).

Wrongful conviction occurred quite often in the United States. In the past two decades, a total of 266 people were exonerated through DNA tests, among them 17 were on death row (Chicago Tribune, July 11, 2010). A report from The Washington Post on April 23, 2010, said Washington DC Police admitted 41 charges they raised against a 14-year-old boy, including four first-degree murders, were false and the teen never confessed to any charge. Police of Will County, Illinois, had tortured Kevin Fox to confess the killing of his three-year-old daughter and he had served eight months in prison before a DNA test exonerated him. Similar case happened in Zion, Illinois, that Jerry Hobbs were forced by the police to confess the killing of his eight-year-old daughter and had been in prison for five years before DNA tests proved his innocence. Barry Gibbs had served 19 years in prison when his conviction of killing a prostitute in 1986 was overturned in 2005 and received $9.9 million from New York City government in June 2010 (The New York Times, June 4, 2010).

The US regards itself as “the beacon of democracy.” However, its democracy is largely based on money. According to a report from The Washington Post on Oct 26, 2010, US House and Senate candidates shattered fundraising records for a midterm election, taking in more than $1.5 billion as of Oct 24. The midterm election, held in November 2010, finally cost $3.98 billion, the most expensive in the US history. Interest groups have actively spent on the election. As of Oct 6, 2010, the $80 million spent by groups outside the Democratic and Republican parties dwarfed the $16 million for the 2006 midterms. One of the biggest spenders nationwide was the American Future Fund from Iowa, which spent $7 million on behalf of Republicans in more than two dozen House and Senate races. One major player the 60 Plus Association spent $7 million on election related ads. The American Federation of States, County and Municipal Employees spent $103.9 million on the campaigns from Oct 22 to 27 (The New York Times, Nov 1, 2010). US citizens have expressed discontent at the huge cost in the elections. A New York Times/CBS poll showed nearly 8 in 10 US citizens said it was important to limit the campaign expense (The New York Times, Oct 22, 2010).

While advocating Internet freedom, the US in fact imposes fairly strict restriction on cyberspace. On June 24, 2010, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which will give the federal government “absolute power” to shut down the Internet under a declared national emergency. Handing government the power to control the Internet will only be the first step towards a greatly restricted Internet system, whereby individual IDs and government permission would be required to operate a website (Prison Planet.com, June 25, 2010). The United States applies double standards on Internet freedom by requesting unrestricted “Internet freedom” in other countries, which becomes an important diplomatic tool for the United States to impose pressure and seek hegemony, and imposing strict restriction within its territory. An article on BBC on Feb 16, 2011 noted the US government wants to boost Internet freedom to give voices to citizens living in societies regarded as “closed” and questions those governments’ control over information flow, although within its borders the US government tries to create a legal frame to fight the challenge posed by Wikileaks. The US government might be sensitive to the impact of the free flow of electronic information on its territory for which it advocates, but it wants to practice diplomacy by other means, including the Internet, particularly the social networks.

An article on the U.S.-based Foreign Policy Magazine admitted that the US government’s approach to the Internet remains “full of problems and contradictions” (Foreign Policy Magazine website, Feb 17, 2011)

III. On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The United States is the world’s richest country, but Americans’ economic, social and cultural rights protection is going from bad to worse.

Unemployment rate in the United States has been stubbornly high. From December 2007 to October 2010, a total of 7.5 million jobs were lost in the country (The New York Times, Nov 19, 2010). According to statistics released by the US Department of Labor on Dec 3, 2010, the US unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent in November 2010, and the number of unemployed persons was 15 million in November, among whom, 41.9 percent were jobless for 27 weeks and more (data.bls.gov). The jobless rate of California in January 2010 was 12.5 percent, its worst on record. Unemployment topped 20 percent in eight California counties (The Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2010). Unemployment rate of New York State was 8.3 percent in October 2010. There were nearly 800,000 people unemployed statewide, and about 527,000 people were collecting unemployment benefits from the state (The New York Times, Nov 19, 2010). Employment situation for the disabled was worse. According to statistics released by the US Department of Labor on Aug 25, 2010, the average unemployment rate for disabled workers was 14.5 percent in 2009, and nearly a third of workers with disabilities worked only part-time. The jobless rate for workers with disabilities who had at least a bachelor’s degree was 8.3 percent, which was higher than the 4.5 percent rate for college-educated workers without disabilities (The Wall Street Journal, Aug 26, 2010). The unemployment rate for those with disabilities had risen to 16.4 percent as of July 2010 (The Wall Street Journal, Aug 26, 2010). In 2009, more than 21,000 disabled people complained to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about their experience of employment discrimination, an increase of 10 percent and 20 percent over the numbers of 2008 and 2007 (The World Journal, Sept 25, 2010).

Proportion of American people living in poverty has risen to a record high. The US Census Bureau reported on Sept 16, 2010 that a total of 44 million Americans found themselves in poverty in 2009, four million more than that of 2008. The share of residents in poverty climbed to 14.3 percent in 2009, the highest level recorded since 1994 (The New York Times, Sept 17, 2010). In 2009, Mississippi’s poverty rate was 23.1 percent (www.census.gov). Florida had a total of 27 million people living in poverty (The Washington Post, Sept 19, 2010). In New York City, 18.7 percent of the population lived in poverty in 2009, as an additional 45,000 people fell below the poverty line that year (New York Daily News, Sept 29, 2010).

People in hunger increased sharply. A report issued by the US Department of Agriculture in November 2010 showed that 14.7 percent of US households were food insecure in 2009 (www.ers.usda.gov), an increase of almost 30 percent since 2006 (The Washington Post, Nov 21, 2010). About 50 million Americans experienced food shortage that year. The number of households collecting emergency food aid had increased from 3.9 million in 2007 to 5.6 million in 2009 (The China Press, Nov 16, 2010). The number of Americans participating in the food-stamp program increased from 26 million in May 2007 to 42 million in September 2010, approximately one in eight people was using food stamps (The Associated Press, Oct 22, 2010). In the past four years, 31.6 percent of American families tasted poverty for at least a couple of months (The Globe and Mail, Sept 17, 2010).

Number of homeless Americans increased sharply. According to a report by USA Today on June 16, 2010, the number of families in homeless shelters increased 7 percent to 170,129 from fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2009. Homeless families also were staying longer in shelters, from 30 days in 2008 to 36 in 2009, and about 800,000 American families were living with extended family, friends, or other people because of the economy. The number of homeless students in the US increased 41 percent over that in the previous two years to one million (The Washington Post, Sept 23, 2010; USA Today, July 31, 2010). In New York City, 30 percent of homeless families in 2009 were first-time homeless (www.usatoday.com). The city’s homeless people increased to 3,111, with another 38,000 people living in shelters (The New York Times, March 19, 2010). New Orleans had 12,000 homeless people (News Week, Aug 23, 2010). An estimated 254,000 men, women and children experienced homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year. Approximately 82,000 people were homeless on any given night. African Americans made up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population, 33 percent were Latino, and a high percentage, as high as 20 percent, were veterans (www.laalmanac.com). American veterans served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars could become homeless one year and a half after they retired, and about 130,000 retired veterans become homeless each year in the US (homepost.kpbs.org). Statistics from the National Coalition for the Homeless showed that more than 1,000 violent offences against homeless people have occurred in the U.S. which caused 291 deaths since 1999. (The New York Times, Aug18, 2010)

The number of American people without health insurance increased progressively every year. According to a report by USA Today on Sept 17, 2010, the number of Americans without health insurance increased from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, the ninth consecutive annual rise, which accounted for 16.7 percent of the total US population. Sixty-eight adults under 65 years old died due to lack of health insurance each day on average in the US. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in November 2010 showed that 22 percent of American adults between 16 and 64 had no health insurance (Reuters, Nov 10, 2010). A report issued by the Center for Health Policy Research, University of California, Los Angeles indicated that 24.3 percent of adults under 65 in California State in 2009 had no health insurance, representing a population of 8.2 million, up from the 6.4 million in 2007. Proportion of children without health insurance in the state rose from 10.2 percent in 2007 to 13.4 percent in 2009 (The China Press, March 17, 2010, citing the Los Angeles Times).

IV. On Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination, deep-seated in the United States, has permeated every aspect of social life.

An Associated Press-Univision Poll, reported by the Associated Press on May 20, 2010, found that 61 percent of people overall said Hispanics face significant discrimination, compared with 52 percent who said blacks do. The New York Times reported on Oct 28, 2010 that more than 6 in 10 Latinos in the United States say discrimination is a “major problem” for them, a significant increase in the last three years.

Minorities do not enjoy the same political status as white people. The New York city’s non-Hispanic white population is 35 percent, while more than 70 percent of the senior jobs are held by whites. Since winning a third term in November 2009, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has announced a parade of major appointments: bringing aboard three new deputy mayors and six commissioners. All nine are white. Of the 80 current city officials identified by the Bloomberg administration as “key members” on its website, 79 percent are white. Of 321 people who advise the mayor or hold one of three top titles at agencies that report directly to him – commissioners, deputy commissioners and general counsels, and their equivalents – 78 percent are white. And of the 1,114 employees who must live in the city, under an executive order, because they wield the most influence over policies and day-to-day operations, 74 percent are white (The New York Times, June 29, 2010).

Minority groups have high unemployment rate. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in July 2010, among the population 16 to 24 years of age, 2,987,000 unemployed people were white, with unemployment rate reaching 16.2 percent; 992,000 were black or African-American people, with unemployment rate of 33.4 percent; 165,000 were Asians, with unemployment rate of 21.6 percent; 884,000 belonged to Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, with unemployment rate of 22.1 percent (bls.gov/news.release/pdf/youth.pdf). According to a report of the working group of experts on people of African descent to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in August 2010, unemployment was a very serious issue for the Afro-descendant community in the United States, with levels of unemployment being, proportionately, four times higher among this population than in the white community. Reference was made to a case where the New York City Fire Department was found to have discriminated against people of African descent who had applied for employment as firemen. Of the 11,000 firemen employed by the New York City Fire Department, only about 300 were of African descent, despite their being about 27 percent of the population of New York (UN document A/HRC/15/18). Nearly one-sixth of black residents in the city were unemployed in the third quarter of 2010. About 140,000 of the city’s 384,000 unemployed residents, or 36 percent, were black (The New York Times, Oct 28, 2010).

Poverty proportion for minorities is also high in the United States. The US Census Bureau announced in Sept, 2010 that the poverty proportion of the black was 25.8 percent in 2009, and those of Hispanic origin and Asian were 25.3 percent and 12.5 percent respectively, much higher than that of the non-Hispanic white at 9.4 percent. The median household income for the black, Hispanic origin and non-Hispanic white were $32,584, $38,039 and $54,461 respectively (The USA Today, September 17, 2010). A survey released by the America Association of Retired Persons on February 23, 2010 found that over the previous 12 months, a third (33 percent) of African-Americans age 45+ had problems paying rent or mortgage, 44 percent had problems paying for essential items, such as food and utilities, almost one in four (23 percent) lost their employer-sponsored health insurance, more than three in 10 (31 percent) had cut back on their medications, and a quarter (26 percent) prematurely withdrew funds from their retirement nest eggs to pay for living expenses. Even in the tough employment environment, 12 percent of African-Americans age 65+ returned to the workforce from retirement, while nearly 20 percent of African-Americans age 45 to 64 increased the number of hours worked and 12 percent took a second job (The Los Angeles Times, Feb 23, 2010). In 2009, there were more than 30,000 black children living in poverty in the nation’s capital, almost 7,000 more than two years before. Among black children in the city, childhood poverty shot up to 43 percent, from 36 percent in 2008. In contrast, the poverty rate for Hispanic children was 13 percent, and the rate for white children was 3 percent (The Washington Post, Sept 29, 2010).

The US minority groups face obvious inequality in education. A latest report released by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University showed that 81 percent of white, 64 percent of Hispanic, and 62 percent of African-American students graduated from high schools in 2008 (The World Journal, Dec 2, 2010). As of 2008, among white men aged 55 to 64, the college completion rate was 43 percent, while 19 percent of Hispanics. Among white men aged 25 to 34, the completion rate was 39 percent, compared with 14 percent of Hispanics (The Washington Post, Oct 20, 2010). In New York City, the number of white adults with a master degree were three times more than Hispanics. According to a report released by the Sacramento State University, only 22 percent of Latino students and 26 percent African-American students completed their two-year studies in the university, compared with 37 percent of white students (The San Jose Mercury News, Oct 20, 2010). A report released from New York City’s Department of Education in January 2010 found that 6,207 or 4.7 percent-out of a total of 130,837 disciplinary incidents reported in the City’s public schools during the 2008-09 school year were bias-related with gender, race/color, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation (The China Press, Jan 18, 2010). The USA Today on Oct 14, 2010 reported that African-American boys who were suspended at double and triple the rates of their white male peers. At the Christina School District in Delaware, 71 percent of black male students were suspended in a recent school year, compared to 22 percent of their white male counterparts. African-American students without disabilities were more than three times as likely to be expelled as their white peers. African-American students with disabilities were over twice as likely to be expelled or suspended as their white counterparts (USA Today, March 8, 2010).

The health care for African-American people is worrisome. Studies showed that nearly a third of ethnic minority families in the United States did not have health insurance. Life expectancy was lower and infant mortality higher than average (BBC, the social and economic position of minorities). Mortality of African-American children was two to three times higher than that of their white counterparts. African-American children represented 71 percent of all pediatric HIV/AIDS cases. African-American women and men were 17 times and 7 times, respectively, more likely to contract HIV/AIDS than white people, and twice more likely to develop cancer.

Racial discrimination is evident in the law enforcement and judicial systems. The New York Times reported on May 13, 2010, that in 2009, African-Americans and Latinos were 9 times more likely to be stopped by the police to receive stop-and-frisk searches than white people. Overall, 41 percent of the prison population was estimated to be African-American. The rate of African-Americans serving a life sentence was more than 10 times higher than that of whites. Males of African descent who dropped out of school had a 66 percent chance of ending up in jail or being processed by the criminal justice system (UN document A/HRC/15/18). A report said 85 percent of the people stopped in New York to receive stop-and-frisk searches over the past six years had been black or Latino (The Washington Post, November 4, 2010). According to a report of the Law School of the Michigan State University, among the 159 death row inmates in North Carolina, 86 were black, 61 were white and 12 were from other ethnic groups. During the trial process of the 159 capital cases, the number of black members taken out from the jury by prosecutors more than doubled that of non-black members. According to statistics from the Chicago Police Department, the proportion of black people being the criminals and the victims of all murder cases is the highest, reaching 76.3 and 77.6 percent respectively (portal.chicagopolice.org). The Homicide Report of the Los Angeles Times showed 2,329 homicides in Los Angeles County from Jan 1, 2007 to Nov 14, 2010, with victims of 1,600 Latinos and 997 black people (projects.latimes.com/homicide/map/).

Racial hate crimes are frequent. The FBI said in an annual report that out of 6,604 hate crimes committed in the United States in 2009, some 4,000 were racially motivated and nearly 1,600 were driven by hatred for a particular religion. Overall, some 8,300 people fell victim to hate crimes in 2009. Blacks made up around three-quarters of victims of the racially motivated hate crimes and Jews made up the same percentage of victims of anti-religious hate crimes. Two-thirds of the 6,225 known perpetrators of all US hate crimes were white (AFP, Nov 22, 2010).

Immigrants’ rights and interests are not guaranteed. Lawmakers in the Arizona Senate in April 2010 passed a bill to curb illegal immigration. The law requires state and local police to determine the status of people if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are illegal immigrants and to arrest people who are unable to provide documentation proving they are in the country legally (The Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2010). Another proposed Arizona law, supported by Republicans of the state, would deny birth certificates to children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents (CNN US, June 15, 2010). A group of UN human rights experts on migrants, racism, minorities, indigenous people, education and cultural rights expressed serious concern over the laws enacted by the state of Arizona, saying that “a disturbing pattern of legislative activity hostile to ethnic minorities and immigrants has been established”. The Arizona immigration law requires state law enforcement officers to arrest a person, without a warrant. It also makes it a crime to be in the country illegally, and specifically targets day laborers, making it a crime for an undocumented migrant to solicit work, and for any person to hire or seek to hire an undocumented migrant. The law may lead to detaining and subjecting to interrogation persons primarily on the basis of their perceived ethnic characteristics. In Arizona, persons who appear to be of Mexican, Latin American, or indigenous origin are especially at risk of being targeted under the law. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Nov 19, 2010 that a large group of human rights organizations prepared to hold a vigil in South Georgia in support of suspected illegal immigrants being held in a prison in Lumpkin. As of Sept 17, 2010, the prison was holding 1,890 inmates. Court cases for inmates at the prison were pending for 63 days on average. With regard to immigration detainees, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants said, in a report to the Human Rights Council in April 2010, that he received reports of detainees being willfully and maliciously denied proper medical treatment, to which they are entitled by legislation, while they are in the custody of the national authorities. The Special Rapporteur observed during his country missions that irregular migrant workers are often homeless or living in crowded, unsafe and unsanitary conditions (UN document A/HRC/14/30).

V. On the rights of women and children

The situation regarding the rights of women and children in the United States is bothering.

Gender discrimination against women widely exists in the United States. According to a report released on Aug 11, 2010 by the Daily Mail, 90 percent of women have suffered some form of sexual discrimination in the workplace. Just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. A report by the American Association of University Women released on March 22, 2010 showed that women earned only 21 percent of doctorate degrees in computer science, around one-third of the doctorates in earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences, chemistry, and math. Women doing the same work as men often get less payment in the United States. According to a report on Sept 17, 2010 by the Washington Post, in nearly 50 years, the wage gap has narrowed by only 18 US cents. The census report released on Sept 16, 2010 showed that working women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. The New York Times reported on April 26, 2010 that Wal-Mart was accused of systematically paying women less than men, giving them smaller raises and offering women fewer opportunities for promotion in the biggest employment discrimination case in the nation’s history. The plaintiffs stressed that while 65 percent of Wal-Mart’s hourly employees were women, only 33 percent of the company’s managers were (The New York Times, April 26, 2010).

Women in the United States often experience sexual assault and violence. Statistics released in October 2010 by the National Institute of Justice show that some 20 million women are rape victims in the country (justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/october/10-ag-1220.html). About 60,000 female prisoners fall victims to sexual assault or violence every year. Some one fifth female students on campus are victims of sexual assault, and 60 percent of campus rape cases occurred in female students’ dorms (World Journal, Aug 26, 2010).

According to the Human Rights Watch report released in August last year, 50 detainees in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers have been alleged victims of sexual assault since 2003. Most of these victims were women, and some of the alleged assailants, including prison guards, were not prosecuted. In one case, a guard in a Texas detention center pretended to be a doctor and sexually assaulted five women in the center’s infirmary (World Journal, Aug 26, 2010). According to figures from Pentagon, cited by the Time magazine on March 8, 2010, nearly 3,000 female soldiers were sexually assaulted in fiscal year 2008, up 9 percent from the year before. Close to one-third of the retired female soldiers said they were victims of rape or assault while they were serving.

Women are also victims of domestic violence. In the United States, some 1.3 million people fall victim to domestic violence every year, and women account for 92 percent. One in four women is a victim of domestic violence at some point during her life, and the violence kills three women each day in the United States by a current or former intimate partner (CNN, Oct 21, 2010). In 2008, police in the New York City received reports of more than 230,000 domestic violence cases, which equals to 600 cases per day (China Press, April 3, 2010). In all homicide cases in 2009, of the female murder victims for whom their relationships to the offenders were known, 34.6 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends (www2.fbi.gov). In the Santa Clara County in California, police receive more than 4,500 domestic violence related calls every year, and more than 700 women and children live in shelters to avoid domestic violence (World Journal, October 15, 2010; China Press, Oct 9, 2010).

Women’s health rights are not properly protected in the United States. According to the Amnesty International, more than two women die every day in the United States from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. African-American women are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women in the past 20 years. Native American and Alaska Native women are 3.6 times, African-American women 2.6 times and Latina women 2.5 times more likely than white women to receive no or late pre-natal care (UN document A/HRC/14/NGO/13).

Children in the US live in poverty. The Washington Post reported on Nov 21, 2010, that nearly one in four children struggles with hunger, citing the US Department of Agriculture. More than 60 percent of public school teachers identify hunger as a problem in the classroom. Roughly the same percentage go into their own pockets to buy food for their hungry students (The Washington Post, Nov 21, 2010). According to figures released on Sept 16, 2010 by the US Census Bureau, the poverty rate increased for children younger than 18 to 20.7 percent in 2009, up 1.7 percentage points from that in 2008 (census.gov). Poverty among black children in the Washington D.C. is as high as 43 percent (The Washington Post, Sept 29, 2010), and some 2.7 million children in California live in impoverished families. The number of poor children in six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area has increased by 15 to 16 percent. Statistics show that at least 17 million children in the United States lived in food insecure households in 2009 (World Journal, May 8, 2010).

Violence against children is very severe. Figures from the official website of Love Our Children USA show that every year over 3 million children are victims of violence reportedly and the actual number is 3 times greater. Almost 1.8 million are abducted and nearly 600,000 children live in foster care. Every day one out of seven kids and teens are approached online by predators, and one out of four kids are bullied and 43 percent of teens and 97 percent of middle schoolers are cyberbullied. Nine out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school. As many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they’ re afraid of being bullied (loveourchildrenusa.org). According to a report released on Oct 20, 2010 by the Washington Post, 17 percent of American students report being bullied two to three times a month or more within a school semester. Bullying is most prevalent in third grade, when almost 25 percent of students reported being bullied two, three or more times a month. According to a UN report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, 20 states and hundreds of school districts in the United States still permit schools to administer corporal punishment in some form, and students with mental or physical disabilities are more likely to suffer physical punishment (UN document A/HRC/14/25/ADD.1).

Children’s physical and mental health is not ensured. More than 93,000 children are currently incarcerated in the United States, and between 75 and 93 percent of children have experienced at least one traumatic experience, including sexual abuse and neglect (The Washington Post, July 9, 2010). According to a report made by the Child Fatality Review Team from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, between 2001 and 2008, injury-related deaths among children aged one to 12 years old in the United States was 8.9 deaths per 100,000. The figure for those in the New York City was 4.2 deaths per 100,000 (China Press, July 3, 2010). Thirteen children and young adults have died at a Chicago care facility for children with severe disabilities since 2000 due to failure to take basic steps to care for them (Chicago Tribune, Oct 10, 2010). According to a study published on Oct 14, 2010 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, about half of American teens aged between 13 and 19 met the criteria for a mental disorder. Fifty-one percent of boys and 49 percent of girls aged 13 to 19 had a mood, behavior, anxiety or substance use disorder, and the disorder in 22.2 percent of teens was so severe it impaired their daily activities (World Journal, Oct 15, 2010). Pornographic content is rampant on the Internet and severely harms American children. Statistics show that seven in 10 children have accidentally accessed pornography on the Internet and one in three has done so intentionally. And the average age of exposure is 11 years old – some start at eight years old (The Washington Times, June 16, 2010). According to a survey commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20 percent of American teens have sent or posted nude or seminude pictures or videos of themselves. (co.jefferson.co.us, March 23, 2010). At least 500 profit-oriented nude chat websites were set up by teens in the United States, involving tens of thousands of pornographic pictures.

VI. On US Violations of Human Rights against Other Nations

The United States has a notorious record of international human rights violations.

The US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused huge civilian casualties. A trove, released by the WikiLeaks website on Oct 22, 2010, reported up to 285,000 war casualties in Iraq from March 2003 through the end of 2009. The documents revealed that at least 109,000 people were killed in the Iraq War, and 63 percent of them were civilians (World Journal, Oct 23, 2010). In an attack in Baghdad in July 2007, an American helicopter shot and killed 12 people, among whom were a Reuters photographer and his driver (The New York Times, April 5, 2010). On Feb 20, 2011, a US military operation in northeastern Afghanistan killed 65 innocent people, including 22 women and more than 30 children, causing the most serious civilian casualties in months (The Washington Post, Feb 20, 2011). According to a report in the Washington Post on Oct 15, 2010, Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry reported in 2009 that 85,694 Iraqis were killed from January 2004 to Oct 31, 2008. Iraq Body Count, an organization based in Britain, said that a total of 122,000 civilians had been killed since the US invasion of Iraq (Newsday, Oct 24, 2010).

The US military actions in Afghanistan and other regions have also brought tremendous casualties to local people. According to a report by McClatchy Newspapers on March 2, 2010, the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops had caused 535 Afghan civilian deaths and injuries in 2009. Among them 113 civilians were shot and killed, an increase of 43 percent over 2008. Since June 2009, air strikes by the US military had killed at least 35 Afghan civilians. On Jan 8, 2010, an American missile strike in the northwestern region of Pakistan killed four people and injured three others (The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 9, 2010). During an American Special Operation in Afghanistan on February 12, five innocent civilians were shot to death, and two of them were pregnant mothers (The New York Times, April 5, 2010, page A4). On April 12, American troops raked a passenger bus near Kandahar, killing five civilians and wounding 18 others (The New York Times, April 13, 2010). The Washington Post reported on Sept 18, 2010, that from Jan 2010, a “kill team” formed by five soldiers from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division of the US forces in Afghanistan, had committed at least three murders, where they randomly targeted and killed Afghan civilians, and dismembered the corpses and hoarded the human bones (The Washington Post, Sept 18, 2010).

The US counter-terrorism missions have been haunted by prisoner abuse scandals. The United States held individuals captured during its “war on terror” indefinitely without charge or trial, according to a joint study report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2010 by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The report said the United States established detention centers in Guantanamo Bay and many other places in the world, keeping detainees secretly. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established secret detention facilities to interrogate so-called “high-value detainees”. The study said the US Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stephen G. Bradbury had stated that the CIA had taken custody of 94 detainees, and had employed “enhanced techniques” to varying degrees, including stress positions, extreme temperature changes, sleep deprivation, and “waterboarding,” in the interrogation of 28 of those detainees (UN document A/HRC/13/42). The United States makes arrests outside its border under the pretext of the “war on terror.” According to a report of the Associated Press on Dec 9, 2010, documents released by the WikiLeaks website indicated that in 2003, some US agents were involved in an abduction of a German citizen mistakenly believed to be a terrorist. The US agents abducted him in Macedonia, and secretly detained him in a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan for five months. However, a top diplomat at the US Embassy in Berlin warned the German government not to issue international arrest warrants against the involved CIA agents.

The United States has seriously violated the right of subsistence and right of development of Cuban residents. On Oct 26, 2010, the 65th session of the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba,” the 19th such resolution in a row. Only two countries, including the United States, voted against the resolution. The blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba qualifies as an act of genocide under Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted in 1948.

The United States refuses to join several key international human rights conventions, failing to fulfill its international obligations. To date, the United States has ratified neither the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, nor the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. In 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Up to now 96 countries have ratified the Convention. The United States, however, has not ratified it. So far, a total of 193 countries have joined the Convention on the Rights of the Child as states parties, but the United States is among the very few countries that have not ratified it.

On Aug 20, 2010, the US government submitted its first report on domestic human rights situation to the UN Human Rights Council. During the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the record on Nov 5, the United States received a record 228 recommendations by about 60 country delegations for improving its human rights situation. These recommendations referred to, inter alia, ratifying key international human rights conventions, rights of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, racial discriminations and Guantanamo prison. The United States, however, only accepted some 40 of them. On March 18, 2011, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the UPR on the United States, and many countries condemned the United States for rejecting most of the recommendations. In the discussion on the United States, speakers from some country delegations expressed their regret and disappointment over the United States’ refusal of a large number of the recommendations. They noted that the United States’ commitment to the human rights area was far from satisfying, and they urged the United States to face up to its own human rights record and take concrete actions to tackle the existing human rights problems.

The above-mentioned facts illustrate that the United States has a dismal record on its own human rights and could not be justified to pose as the world’s “human rights justice”. However, it released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries for their human rights practices. The United States ignores its own serious human rights problems, but has been keen on advocating the so-called “human rights diplomacy”, to take human rights as a political instrument to defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests. These facts fully expose its hypocrisy by exercising double standards on human rights and its malicious design to pursue hegemony under the pretext of human rights.

We hereby advise the US government to take concrete actions to improve its own human rights conditions, check and rectify its acts in the human rights field, and stop the hegemonistic deeds of using human rights issues to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.

 

Chinese:《2010美国人权报告》

2010年美国的人权纪录
国务院新闻办公室
2011年4月10日

2011年4月8日,美国国务院发表《2010年国别人权报告》,再次对包括中国在内的世界190多个国家和地区的人权状况进行歪曲指责,却对自身糟糕的人权状况熟视无睹,很少提及。为了敦促美国正视自身的人权问题,我们特发表《2010年美国的人权纪录》。

一、关于生命、财产和人身安全

美国是世界上暴力犯罪最严重的国家,公民的生命、财产和人身安全得不到应有的保障。

美国每年约有1/5的人成为各种犯罪行为的受害者,这一比例居全世界之首。(注1)美国司法部司法统计局2010年10月13日的报告显示,美国12岁以上公民2009年共经历430万起暴力犯罪、1560万起财产犯罪和13.3万起个人盗窃犯罪,犯罪率为每千人17.1起。(注2)美国多座城市犯罪率激增。密苏里州的圣路易斯市平均每10万名居民经历暴力犯罪2070多起,成为美国最危险城市。(注3)底特律市每年发生恶性暴力案件1.5万多起,平均每10万人经历暴力事件1600起。2010年,美国费城、芝加哥、洛杉矶、纽约四大城市的凶杀案件均比2009年增多。(注4)2010年3月29日至4月4日,洛杉矶郡一周发生25起凶杀案;2010年上半年,洛杉矶郡凶杀死亡人数高达373人。(注5)截至11月11日,纽约市共发生凶杀案464起,较2009年同期的400起增长16%。(注6)

美国枪支管理松懈,泛滥成灾。路透社2010年11月10日报道,美国是全世界私人拥有枪支最多的国家,在3亿人口中,有约9000万人共持有2亿支枪。2010年6月28日,美国联邦最高法院大法官裁定,宪法第二修正案确保个人拥有枪支的权利适用于各州和地方枪支控制法,从而将美国人以自卫目的拥有枪支的权利扩及全国。(注7)田纳西州、亚利桑那州、乔治亚州和维吉尼亚州允许在酒吧里携带装有弹药的手枪。还有另外18个州允许在提供酒精饮品的饭店里携带武器。(注8)仅田纳西州就有30万人被允许携带手枪。《华盛顿时报》2010年6月7日报道,2008年11月,美国当月购买枪支的人数增长了45万,同比增长10倍。2008年11月至2009年10月,美国购买枪支者增长了250万人。(注9)美国大学枪击案频发是近年来人们关注的焦点。而据英国《每日电讯报》2011年2月21日报道,美国得克萨斯州即将通过一项新法,允许其38所公立学院的学生和老师在校园中带枪。这就意味着,在这些学校中就读的50万名学生可以持枪上学。此前,犹他州已通过类似法律。

枪杀事件高发,血案不断。据统计,美国每年发生1.2万起持枪凶杀事件。(注10)美国司法部2010年10月13日发布的数据显示,2009年,美国暴力犯罪中有22%使用了武器,47%的抢劫犯罪使用了武器。(注11)2010年3月30日,华盛顿特区5名男子驾车向人群扫射,造成4人死亡、5人重伤。(注12)4月,芝加哥在一天内发生6起枪击案,造成16人受伤,其中2人重伤。(注13)4月3日,洛杉矶北好莱坞一家餐厅发生重大枪击事件,导致4人死亡、2人受伤。(注14)5月29日到5月30日,芝加哥发生多起枪杀案,造成21人受伤,1人死亡。(注15)6月,芝加哥一个周末就有52人被枪击中。(注16)5-7月间,接连有3名芝加哥警察被歹徒枪杀。(注17)仅在2010年7月一个月内,芝加哥就有303人遭到枪击,其中33人死亡。11月5日至8日,奥克兰市发生多起枪击案,造成4人死亡、至少5人受伤。(注18)11月30日,威斯康星州马里内特县一名15岁少年持枪闯入自己就读的中学,劫持24名同学和1名教师。(注19)2011年1月8日,美国国会众议员加布里埃尔·吉福兹在亚利桑那州图桑市遭枪击,并造成6人死亡,12人受伤。(注20)

(注1)10 Facts About Crime in the United States that Will Blow Your Mind, Beforitsnews.com

(注2) Criminal Victimization 2009,U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov

(注3)美联社,2010年11月22日。

(注4)《今日美国报》,2010年12月5日。

(注5) http://www.lapdonline.org

(注6)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年11月12日。

(注7)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年6月29日。

(注8)《纽约时报》,2010年10月3日。

(注9)《华盛顿时报》,2010年6月7日。

(注10)《纽约时报》,2010年9月26日。

(注11) http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov,2010年10月13日。

(注12)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年4月27日。

(注13)www. myfoxchicago.com

(注14)www.nbclosangeles.com, 2010年4月4日。

(注15)www.chicagobreakingnews.com, 2010年5月30日。

(注16)www.huffingtonpost.com, 2010年6月21日。

(注17)《芝加哥论坛报》,2010年7月19日。

(注18)《世界日报》,2010年11月11日。

(注19)abcNEWS,2010年11月30日。

(注20)《洛杉矶时报》,2011年1月9日。

二、关于公民权利和政治权利

美国政府侵犯公民权利和政治权利的情况相当严重。

公民隐私遭到侵犯。美国公民自由联盟2010年9月公布的数据显示,2008年10月1日到2010年6月2日,有超过6600名游客在港口过境处遭受电子设备搜查,其中近一半是美国公民。《华尔街日报》2010年9月7日报道说,美国国土安全部因为一项允许在没有一个合理怀疑的情况下,可以搜查和扣押便携式电脑、手机和其他电子设备的政策而被起诉。该政策没有对国土安全部扣留游客电子设备的时间和被搜查、复制和扣押个人信息的范围作任何限制,也没有司法程序和监督方面的规定。2010年7月17日,哥伦比亚记者霍尔曼·莫里斯受邀赴哈佛大学担任一年访问学者遭拒签,理由是根据美国有关禁止支持恐怖分子入境法案而作出的决定。在加利福尼亚州,一位名叫亚瑟阿福的阿拉伯裔美国人发现联邦调查局在他的车上安置跟踪器。2010年8月,美国公民自由联盟、亚洲法律联盟和《旧金山湾区卫报》提起一项诉讼,请求促进联邦调查局公开关于湾区穆斯林组织的调查和监视记录,而旧金山联邦调查局以“调查仍在继续”为借口拒绝对此事作任何评论。(注21)2010年10月底,美国运输安全管理局再次提高美国机场安检级别,对乘客实行全身透视X光扫描,并声称旅客不得以宗教信仰为借口拒绝安检扫描。由于这种全身扫描可使乘客裸体形象在扫描仪上暴露无遗,所以遭到广泛批评。一些民权组织认为安检侵犯了公民的宗教信仰自由权、个人隐私权以及宪法规定的保障公民不受非法搜查的权利。(注22)美国公民自由联盟和美国旅行协会目前已经接到数千例对机场安检的投诉。(注23)

警察滥施暴力和刑讯逼供现象严重。据美联社2010年10月14日报道,在过去10年中,纽约市为解决当地涉警察局投诉而支付的赔偿金达9.64亿美元。其中,一名手无寸铁的男子在自己举办婚礼当天被警察连开50枪打死,涉案警察被判无罪,而纽约警察局只是给钱了事。(注24)由此可见,在标榜“司法公正”的美国,上述遇害者哪有什么公正? 2010年6月,陪审团判处芝加哥前警长因涉嫌虐囚犯有伪证罪和妨害司法公正罪,他与同事被控用恐吓、窒息和燃烧嫌疑人的方法获取口供。(注25) 《芝加哥论坛报》2010年5月12日报道,芝加哥警察局被控在没有合法授权的情况下对嫌疑人进行逮捕、铐在墙壁或金属长凳、不提供正常三餐、很少休息、不提供床铺浴室等“软酷刑”获取非自愿供述。据报道,2010年3月22日,俄勒冈州波特兰市一名警察开枪打死一名无家可归者。(注26)4月3日,洛杉矶威斯敏斯特警察局两名警察拦车绑架并强奸了一名25岁女子。(注27)4月17日,华盛顿州西雅图市警察在抓捕一名拉丁裔嫌犯时,对其进行殴打,并使用种族歧视语言谩骂。(注28)3月24日,休斯敦8名警察殴打一名涉嫌盗窃的15岁黑人少年查德·霍雷,该少年倒地求饶,但警员继续殴打。最终,只有4名警员受到指控和开除处分。(注29)8月11日,乔治王子县警察在追捕一辆被盗面包车时开枪打伤3人,死者家人质疑警察开枪的合法性,因为车上的人没有开枪。(注30)9月5日,洛杉矶警察开枪将一名危地马拉裔移民打死,引发骚乱,警察向人群发射橡胶子弹,并拘捕22人。(注31)11月5日,洛杉矶法院对在2009年枪杀奥克兰市乘客的湾区捷运警察梅塞尔从轻判处两年有期徒刑,引发民众抗议示威,警方拘捕了150多名示威者。(注32)

美国一向自诩“自由的乐土”,但是美国被剥夺自由的囚犯数量居世界之最。皮尤研究中心2008年报告表明,美国每100个成人中就有一个在监狱服刑,这个数据在1970年为1/400。按目前发展速度,到2011年,美国监狱关押人数将增加13%,达到170万人。囚犯激增,监狱暴满。加州监狱关押着16.4万名囚犯,是监狱容量的2倍。(注33)华盛顿特区一个青少年矫治中心严重暴力犯罪的青少年约有550人,但只有60张床位,很多少年因无法得到有效管制而再次违法或成为暴力犯罪的牺牲品。(注34)监狱管理混乱,囚犯待遇恶劣,时常发生骚乱。《芝加哥论坛报》2010年7月18日报道说,库克郡在押女嫌疑犯向警察局投诉,指控她们在被关押期间分娩时,被带上手铐或脚镣,致使身心受到严重伤害。2010年10月19日,加州卡利帕特里亚一所监狱发生骚乱,至少有129名囚犯参与群殴,2人被狱警枪毙,另有10余人受伤。(注35)美联社2010年11月30日公布的视频显示,被称为“格斗者学校”的衣阿华州监狱发生了囚犯斗殴,被殴打的囚犯从监狱窗口向看守求救,看守却袖手旁观,直至被打者失去知觉,才将殴打者铐起来。(注36)

美国冤案错案频发。据统计,在过去20年内,美国共有266名含冤入狱的嫌疑犯在经过DNA鉴定后,被无罪释放,其中包括17名已被判死刑的嫌疑犯。(注37)《华盛顿邮报》2010年4月23日报道,华盛顿特区警方承认对一名14岁少年起诉的41项罪名是错误的,其中包括4项一级谋杀罪名,而该少年从来没有承认过这些罪名。伊利诺伊州威尔郡和宰恩市警察局各对一名嫌疑犯进行刑讯逼供,采取各种非法手段逼迫其承认杀害自己女儿,两人已分别在监狱被关押了8个月和5年,后经过DNA鉴定被宣判无罪释放。另一位名叫吉布斯的人被错判杀害一名妓女遭监禁19年,直到2010年6月,纽约市才支付62岁的吉布斯990万美元赔偿。(注38)

美国一向以“民主的灯塔”自居,而实际上,美国的民主是金钱的民主。《华盛顿邮报》2010年10月26日报道,在美国国会中期选举中,参议院和众议院议员候选人募集的资金创历史新高,首次超过了15亿美元。2010年11月举行的美国中期选举共花费39.8亿美元,是美国历史上花费最多的一次选举。此次选举中许多利益集团纷纷捐赠。据统计,利益集团为民主党和共和党共筹集到8000万美元资金,远远高出2006年的1600万美元。其中一个较大的捐助组织爱荷华州的美国未来基金会已向共和党捐助了700万美元。另一个非营利组织60岁以上长者协会在中期选举广告上的投入高达700万美元。美国州、县、市镇雇员联合会仅10月22日至27日,就花费了1.039亿美元。(注39)美国人对选举过程中的巨额开支十分不满,《纽约时报》和哥伦比亚广播公司做的一次民调显示,80%的美国人认为限制选举开支十分重要。(注40)

美国极力标榜和鼓吹互联网自由,而实际上,美国对互联网的限制相当严格。2010年6月24日,美国国会参议院国家安全与政府事务委员会通过对2002年国土安全法案的修正案《将保护网络作为国家资产法案》。修正案规定联邦政府在紧急状况下,拥有绝对的权力来关闭互联网,再次扩大了联邦政府在紧急状况下的权利。这只是目前美国政府对互联网限制的第一步,第二步是运营网站须经政府许可以及个人身份信息验证。(注41)美国一向在互联网自由问题上对人对己实行双重标准,对外要求别国提供不受限制的“互联网自由”,并以此作为外交施压和谋求霸权的重要工具,对内则对互联网进行严格管制。BBC2011年2月16日刊文指出,美国政府在鼓动“封闭社会”的人民争取互联网自由并对这些国家政府的新闻管制提出质疑的同时,却在本国设立法律封锁以缓解维基揭密网发起的挑战。美国政府在国内对电子信息的自由流动非常敏感,但在国外却设法对互联网尤其是社交网络运用外交手腕。美国《外交政策》网站的文章也承认,“美国政府对互联网的态度依然充满问题和矛盾”。(注42)

(注21) 《华盛顿邮报》,2010年10月13日。

(注22) 美联社,2010年11月16日。

(注23)《基督教科学箴言报》,2010年11月20日。

(注24)《侨报》,2010年10月15日。

(注25)《波士顿环球报》,2010年11月5日。

(注26)《侨报》,2010年4月1日。

(注27)《洛杉矶时报》,2010年4月6日。

(注28)《西雅图邮报》,2010年5月10日。

(注29)《休斯敦纪事报》,2010年5月4日、2010年6月23日。

(注30)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年8月14日。

(注31)《纽约时报》,2010年9月8日。

(注32)《圣弗朗西斯科纪事报》,2010年11月9日。

(注33)《华尔街日报》,2010年12月1日。

(注34)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年8月28日。

(注35)《侨报》,2010年10月20日。

(注36)《侨报》,2010年12月2日。

(注37)《芝加哥论坛报》,2010年7月11日。

(注38)《纽约时报》,2010年6月4日。

(注39)《纽约时报》,2010年11月1日。

(注40)《纽约时报》,2010年10月22日。

(注41) Prison planet.com,2010年6月16日。

(注42) 美国《外交政策》网站,2011年2月17日。

三、关于经济、社会、文化权利

美国是世界上最富裕的国家,但是,美国人的经济、社会和文化权利保障却每况愈下。

美国失业率居高不下。2007年12月至2010年10月,美国共减少750万个职位。(注43)据美国劳工部2010年12月3日公布的数据,2010年11月,美国失业率为9.8%,有1500万人失业,其中41.9%的人失业27周或更长时间。(注44)加州2010年1月失业率高达12.5%,创加州历史上最高失业记录,其中8个郡的失业率高达20%。(注45)纽约州2010年10月失业率为8.3%,近80万人失业,约52.7万人领取失业福利。(注46)残疾人的就业状况更加糟糕。据美国劳工部2010年8月25日公布的数据,2009年,残疾工人失业率为14.5%,近1/3的残疾人只做兼职工作,有学士或以上学位的残疾人的失业率为8.3%,高于非残疾的大专院校毕业生的4.5%。(注47)2010年7月,残疾人失业率高达16.4%。(注48)2009年,2.1万多残疾人因遭受就业歧视向美国就业机会均等委员会投诉,比2008年和2007年分别增加10%和20%。(注49)

贫困人口比例创新高。美国人口普查局2010年9月16日公布的数据显示,到2009年底,美国贫困人口达4400万人,比2008年增加400万,贫困率达14.3%,创1994年以来最高。(注50) 2009年,密西西比州的贫困率高达23.1%。(注51)佛罗里达州贫困人口达2700万。(注52)纽约市18.7%的人生活在贫困中,比2008年增加4.5万人。(注53)

饥饿人口大幅增加。美国农业部2010年11月发表的报告显示,2009年,美国有14.7%的家庭面临食品短缺,(注54)比2006年增长近30%。(注55)有5000万人生活在没有足够食物的家庭。接受紧急食物援助的家庭从2007年的390万户增加到2009年的560万户。(注56)2007年5月到2010年9月,美国领取食物券人数从2600万人增至4200万人,每8个美国人中有1人在使用食物券。(注57)在过去4年里,31.6%的美国家庭多次经历过至少两个月的贫困时期。(注58)

无家可归者激增。《今日美国报》2010年6月16日报道,2008至2009财政年度,美国无家可归家庭增加了7%,达到170129户。无家可归家庭在政府提供的救助中心借住的时间由2008年的30天增加到2009年的36天,另有大约80万家庭借住在亲友家。美国学校中无家可归的学生数量增加到100万,比之前的两年增加了41%。(注59) 2009年,纽约市新增了30%无家可归家庭,(注60)无家可归者增加到3111人,另有约38000人居住在收容所中。(注61)新奥尔良的无家可归者有12000名。(注62)洛杉矶郡有约25.4万人在一年中有过无家可归的经历,约8.2万人常年如此,其中一半是非裔美国人,33%是拉丁裔人,20%是退伍老兵。(注63)美国伊拉克、阿富汗战争的士兵退伍一年半后就可能沦为无家可归者,每年大约有13万退伍老兵成为无家可归者。(注64)美国全国无家可归者援助联盟的数据显示,从1999年起,有超过1000起针对流浪者的暴力行为,造成291人死亡。(注65)

没有医疗保险的人数连年递增。《今日美国报》2010年9月17日报道,2009年,美国没有医疗保险的人数从2008年的4630万人增加到5070万人,是连续第9年增加,已占到总人口的16.7%。美国平均每天有68名65岁以下的成年人因缺乏医疗保险而死亡。美国疾病防控中心2010年11月的报告显示,美国16至64岁成年人中,无医疗保险的比例高达22%。(注66)加州大学洛杉矶分校公共健康政策研究所公布的一项报告显示,2009年,65岁以下的加州成年人中,24.3%的人没有医疗保险,人数由2007年的640万上升到2009年的820万。没有医保的儿童从2007年的10.2%上升到2009年的13.4%。(注67)

(注43)《纽约时报》,2010年11月19日。

(注44) data.bls.gov

(注45)《洛杉矶时报》,2010年3月11日。

(注46)《纽约时报》,2010年11月19日。

(注47)《华尔街日报》,2010年8月26日。

(注48)《华尔街日报》,2010年8月26日。

(注49)《世界日报》,2010年9月25日。

(注50)《纽约时报》,2010年9月17日。

(注51) http://www.census.gov

(注52)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年11月19日。

(注53)《纽约每日新闻》,2010年9月29日。

(注54) http://www.ers.usda.gov

(注55)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年11月21日。

(注56)《侨报》,2010年11月16日。

(注57) 美联社,2010年10月22日。

(注58)《环球邮报》,2010年9月17日。

(注59)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年9月23日;《今日美国报》,2010年7月31日。

(注60) http://www.usatoday.com

(注61)《纽约时报》,2010年3月19日。

(注62)《新闻周刊》,2010年8月23日。

(注63) http://www.laalmanac.com

(注64) homepost.kpbs.org

(注65)《纽约时报》,2010年8月18日。

(注66) 路透社,2010年11月10日。

(注67)《侨报》,2010年3月17日。

四、关于种族歧视

种族歧视在美国根深蒂固,渗透到社会生活的各个方面。

美联社2010年5月20日的一项调查显示,在美国,有61%的受访者认为西裔受到明显歧视,52%的受访者认为黑人受到明显歧视。《纽约时报》2010年10月28日的调查显示,60%以上的美国拉丁裔居民表示,歧视已成为了他们每天面临的主要问题,近3年来这一问题已更加严重。

少数族裔不享有与白人平等的政治地位。在纽约市,非西裔白人仅占人口总数的35%,但70%以上的纽约市政府高官为白人。2009年任命的3位副市长和6位局长都是白人。目前,纽约市政府确认的80位“关键”人员中,白人占79%。在321位市长顾问或向市长直接报告的局长、副局长、总顾问中白人占78%。在必须居住在纽约市并对政府政策和日常运作最具影响力的1114名市政府员工中,白人占74%。(注68)

少数族裔在就业和职业上受到歧视。黑人在升迁、福利、任职等多方面均遭受不公平待遇或排挤。(注69)据报道,有1/3的黑人在工作中遭遇过种族歧视,但其中只有1/16的黑人会因此投诉。《华盛顿邮报》2010年10月15日报道,华盛顿特区消防和急救中心的30名消防员认为,其所在部门存在种族歧视现象,对黑人工作人员实施更为严格的规章制度。一位在农业部工作的非裔女士雪莉·谢拉德因在工作中表现出对白人的不满而被解雇。据悉,农业部因为过去几十年对黑人农民的歧视问题将要赔偿12.5亿美元。(注70)《纽约时报》2010年9月23日报道,截至2009年9月30日,在美国,穆斯林劳动者因在工作中受到严重歧视,已提出了803起诉讼,比2008年上升了20%。

少数族裔失业率高。据美国劳工部统计局报告,2010年7月,在美国16-24岁的年轻人中,白人失业人数为298.7万人,失业率为16.2%;非裔失业人数为99.2万人,失业率为33.4%;亚裔失业人数为16.5万人,失业率为21.6%;西裔和拉美裔失业人数为88.4万人,失业率为22.1%。(注71)联合国非洲人后裔问题专家工作组2010年8月在向联合国人权理事会提交的访问美国报告中称,美国非裔人口的失业率比白人高4倍,纽约市消防队雇佣的1.1万名消防员中,仅有300名非裔,而非裔人口占纽约市人口的27%。(注72)2010年第三季度,纽约有近1/6的黑人失业,38.4万失业者中有14万人是黑人,占36%。(注73)

少数族裔贫困率居高不下。美国人口普查局2010年9月公布的数据显示,2009年,美国黑人贫困率为25.8%,西裔为25.3%,亚裔为12.5%,远高于非西裔白人9.4%的贫困率。黑人、西裔和非西裔白人家庭中位年收入分别为32584美元、38039美元和54461美元。(注74)美国退休人员协会2010年2月23日发布的报告显示,在过去12个月中,45岁以上的黑人有1/3表示不能支付房租或偿还贷款,而44%的黑人买不起例如食物和劳动工具等生活必需品。在被调查的老年人中,有23%的黑人工人失去了由雇主支付的医疗保险,31%的黑人工人缩减了医疗保险开支,26%的黑人提前支取退休金来支付生活费用。45岁到64岁之间的黑人有近20%工作更长时间,而12%的黑人做两份工作。12%的65岁以上老年黑人开始重新工作。(注75)2009年,首都华盛顿特区有3万多名黑人儿童生活在贫困中,比2007年增加7000人,黑人儿童贫困率从2008年的36%增至43%,西裔儿童贫困率为13%,白人儿童贫困率为3%。(注76)

少数族裔在受教育方面存在明显的不平等。美国希望联盟、市政事业研究所和约翰斯·霍普金斯大学普及高中教育研究中心的研究报告显示,2008年,西裔和黑人学生高中毕业率分别为64%和62%,而白人为81%。(注77)2008年,25-34岁白人男子大学毕业率为39%,西裔只有14%;55-64岁白人男子大学毕业率为43%,西裔只有19%。(注78)纽约市获得硕士学位的成年白人比西裔多3倍。(注79)根据萨克拉门托州立大学的调查,该校仅有22%的拉丁裔和26%的黑人学生顺利完成学院2年制学业,而白人学生则达37%。(注80)纽约市教育局2010年1月的报告显示,在2008年至2009学年纽约市公立学校报告的13万多起欺凌、骚扰同学的案件中,有6207件即4.7%是由于族裔、移民来自的国家、性别、性取向等而遭受歧视的案件。(注81)据《今日美国报》2010年10月14日报道,非裔美国籍男生的辍学率是同龄白人男生的两至三倍。特拉华州的基督教学区,在最近的学年中,71%的黑人男生辍学,而只有22%的白人男生辍学。没有残疾的黑人学生被开除的可能性是白人学生的3倍多,而患有残疾黑人学生辍学或被开除的可能性是白人残疾学生的2倍多。(注82)

非裔美国人的健康保障令人担忧。据统计,在美国,近1/3的少数族裔家庭无医疗保险,人均寿命低于正常水平,婴儿死亡率高于正常水平。(注83)非裔儿童死亡率比白人高2至3倍,非裔儿童占艾滋病患儿总数的71%,非裔妇女和男子艾滋病感染率分别比白人高17倍和7倍,癌症发病率高出2倍。

执法和司法领域的种族歧视非常明显。《纽约时报》2010年5月13日报道,2009年,黑人和拉美裔被警察要求接受检查和搜身的人数是白人的9倍。非裔占囚犯总数的41%,服无期徒刑的比白人高10倍。辍学的非裔男子有66%的可能性入狱或接受刑事处罚。(注84)纽约在过去6年里,被拦截搜身的人中有85%是黑人和拉美裔。(注85)密歇根州立大学法学院发表报告称,目前,北卡罗来纳州有159人关在死囚牢房里,其中黑人86人,白人61人,其他族裔12人。在159个死刑案中,被检察官从陪审团名单中去掉的黑人是非黑人的2倍多。据芝加哥警察局统计,在所有凶杀案中,黑人占凶杀案罪犯和受害者比重最大,分别达到76.3%和77.6%。(注86)2007年1月1日至2010年11月14日,洛杉矶凶杀案数目达2329起,在死者中,拉美裔1600人,黑人997人。(注87)

种族仇恨犯罪频发。美国联邦调查局2010年11月22日的报告显示,2009年,美国共发生6604起仇恨犯罪,其中4000起与种族歧视有关,1600起与宗教仇恨有关;仇恨犯罪的受害者有8300人,其中,黑人占种族仇恨犯罪受害者的3/4,犹太人占宗教仇恨犯罪受害者的3/4。在已确认的6225名仇恨犯罪作案者中,2/3为白人。(注88)

(注68)《纽约时报》,2010年6月29日。

(注69)《芝加哥论坛报》,2010年3月12日。

(注70)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年7月23日。

(注71)www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/youth.pdf

(注72) 联合国文件编号A/HRC/15/18

(注73)《纽约时报》,2010年10月28日。

(注74)《今日美国报》,2010年9月17日。

(注75)《洛杉矶时报》,2010年2月23日。

(注76)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年9月29日。

(注77)《世界日报》,2010年12月2日。

(注78)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年10月20日。

(注79)《纽约时报》,2010年11月18日。

(注80)《圣何塞信使报》,2010年10月20日。

(注81)《侨报》,2010年1月18日。

(注82)《今日美国报》,2010年3月8日。

(注83)BBC,the social and economic position of minorities

(注84)联合国文件编号A/HRC/15/18

(注85)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年11月4日。

(注86)portal.chicagopolice.org

(注87)Projects.latimes.com/homicide/map/

(注88)法新社,2010年11月22日。

移民的应有权利得不到保障。2001年4月,亚利桑那州议会通过反非法移民法案,允许警察对当事人身份有“合理怀疑”时,即使没有逮捕令,也可以对其盘查甚至采取拘捕行动。(注89)亚利桑那州共和党还推出另一法案,拒绝向非法移民子女发放出生证明,使无合法身份的移民很难成为美国公民。(注90)2010年,多个联合国人权问题专家在报告中指出,亚利桑那州移民法是敌视移民的立法活动,该移民法允许在没有逮捕令的情况下逮捕外国人,对非法居留以犯罪论处,对工作的无证移民以及雇用或试图雇用无证移民的人均以犯罪论处,可能导致基于族裔特征对有关人员进行拘留和审讯。墨西哥、拉丁美洲或土著族裔特别有可能成为该法的受害对象。《亚特兰大宪法报》2010年11月19日报道,佐治亚州多个人权组织共同发起抗议活动,声援被拘禁在佐治亚州南部兰普金一家监狱的非法移民。截至2010年9月17日,该监狱共关押了1800多名等待审理的非法移民,每个案件平均处理时间为63天。2010年4月,保护移民权利特别报告员向联合国人权理事会提交的报告指出,移民在被美国当局关押期间未被提供合适的医疗服务,非正规移徙工人往往无家可归,或者住在拥挤、不安全且不卫生的环境中。(注91)

五、关于妇女和儿童权利

美国的妇女儿童权利状况堪忧。

在美国,对妇女的性别歧视广泛存在。据《每日邮报》2010年8月11日报道,90%的女性在工作单位遭受过性别歧视。美国《财富》500强企业中,女性首席执行官仅占3%。美国大学妇女协会2010年3月22日的报告称,在计算机领域,女博士仅占21%,在地球、大气、海洋、化学和数学领域,女博士仅占1/3。男女同工不同酬的现象非常严重。据《华盛顿邮报》2010年9月17日报道,近50年来,男女的工资差距仅仅缩小了18美分,2010年9月16日公布的普查统计显示,妇女的工资收入只有男性工资收入的77%。《纽约时报》2010年4月26日报道,在美国历史上最大的用工歧视案例中,沃尔玛公司被控制度化地支付给女性雇员比男性雇员更低的工资,给予更小的加薪幅度、更少的晋升机会。65%的沃尔玛小时制雇员是女性,仅有33%的公司经理是女性。(注92)

妇女频遭性侵犯和暴力。据美国司法部2010年10月公布的数据显示,美国有2000万名妇女是强奸罪的受害者。(注93)每年约有6万名女囚被强暴。有1/5的在校女大学生曾遭受过性侵犯,60%的校园强奸案发生在女大学生的宿舍。(注94)“人权观察”组织2010年8月发表报告称,自2003年以来,在移民与海关执法局的拘留中心有50名性侵犯受害者,其中多数是女性,而包括狱警在内的一些据称是攻击者却未被起诉。得克萨斯州一所拘留中心狱警冒充医生对5名妇女进行性侵犯。(注95)据《时代》周刊2010年3月8日报道,根据美国国防部公布的数据,2008年,约3000名美国女兵遭到性侵犯,比上年增加9%;近1/3的退役女兵表示曾在服役期间遭到强暴和性侵犯。

女性是家庭暴力的受害者。在美国,每年有130万名家庭暴力受害者,女性占92%,每4名女性中就有1人遭受过家庭暴力,每天有3个女性因家庭暴力而死亡。(注96)2008年,纽约市警察局共接获23万多起家庭暴力报案,平均每天超过600件。(注97)在2009年所有女性死者和谋杀犯关系已知的命案中,34.6%的女性受害人被自己的丈夫或男友杀害。(注98)加州圣塔克拉拉郡每年接到家庭暴力投诉案超过4500件,700多名受害妇女和儿童为躲避家庭暴力住在庇护所。(注99)

妇女的健康权益缺少保障。大赦国际的报告称,美国每天有两名以上的妇女死于孕产并发症。过去20年中,美国黑人孕产妇死亡率是白人孕产妇的4倍。与白人孕产妇相比,得不到或晚得到产前护理的印第安土著妇女和阿拉斯加土著妇女是3.6倍,非洲裔妇女是2.6倍,拉丁裔妇女是2.5倍。(注100)

美国儿童生活贫困。《华盛顿邮报》2010年11月21日报道,美国农业部公布的数据显示,每4个美国儿童中就有一个面临饥饿问题。超过60%的公立学校的教师认为饥饿是学校的一个难题,60%的教师自己掏钱为饥饿的学生购买食物。(注101)美国人口普查局2010年9月16日公布的数据显示,2009年,美国18岁以下儿童贫困率达20.7%,比2008年增加了1.7个百分点。(注102)华盛顿黑人儿童贫困率高达43%,(注103)加州约有270万儿童居住在贫困家庭。旧金山湾区6个郡的贫困儿童人数增加了15%至16%。据统计,2009年的某些时段,美国至少有1700万儿童生活在无法确定拥有或者得到足够食物的家庭。(注104)

针对儿童的暴力十分严重。美国“关爱我们的儿童”官方网站数据显示,美国每年有超过300万的儿童遭受暴力侵害,实际数字比这还多3倍;大约有180万的儿童遭到绑架;有近60万的儿童住在福利院。每天1/7的少年儿童在网络上被一些“狩猎者”跟踪,25%的儿童受到欺凌,43%的少年、97%的中学生受到网络欺凌。90%的同性恋、双性恋以及变性学生在学校经历过骚扰,约有16万学生因为害怕被欺负每天都待在家中。(注105)《华盛顿邮报》2010年10月20日报道,17%的学生表示在一个学期内每月至少受到2至3次欺凌,其中小学三年级最为严重,受欺凌学生占25%。联合国教育权问题特别报告员报告称,美国20个州和数百个学区长期以来允许体罚小学生,残障学生遭受体罚的概率更高。(注106)

(注89)《洛杉矶时报》,2010年4月13日。

(注90)《世界日报》,2010年6月14日。

(注91) 联合国文件编号A/HRC/14/30

(注92)《纽约时报》,2010年4月26日。

(注93)www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/october/10-ag-1220.html

(注94)《世界日报》,2010年8月26日。

(注95)《世界日报》,2010年8月26日。

(注96) CNN,2010年10月21日。

(注97)《侨报》,2010年4月3日。

(注98) www2.fbi.gov

(注99)《世界日报》,2010年10月15日;《侨报》2010年10月9日。

(注100) 联合国文件编号A/HRC/14/NGO/13

(注101)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年11月21日。

(注102) www. census.gov

(注103)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年9月29日。

(注104)《世界日报》,2010年5月8日。

(注105) http://www.loveourchildrenusa.org

(注106) 联合国文件编号A/HRC/14/25/ADD.1

儿童身心健康得不到保障。在美国,目前有9.3万多儿童被监禁,大约75%至93%的儿童至少有过一次被性虐待或被忽视等创伤性经历。(注107)纽约市健康和心理卫生局2010年儿童死亡评估小组的报告显示,2001年至2008年,美国1至12岁儿童年均伤害死亡率为10万分之8.9,纽约市为10万分之4.2。(注108)芝加哥一家残障儿童护理院自2000年以来,由于管理松懈等原因导致13名儿童死亡。(注109)美国儿童与青少年精神病学会期刊2010年10月14日公布的研究显示,全国约半数13至19岁的青少年存在情绪、行为、焦虑或吸毒酗酒问题,符合精神障碍的标准,男孩和女孩的比例分别为51%和49%,其中22.2%的青少年障碍症非常严重。(注110)色情内容充斥互联网,美国儿童深受其害。据统计,在美国,每10个儿童中就有7个无意中接触过网上色情,其中1/3的孩子有意在网上搜索色情内容。儿童接触色情内容的年龄平均为11岁,最小的8岁。(注111)据报道,“美国预防青少年怀孕组织”发表的一份调查报告显示, 20%的美国青少年在互联网上发送过自己的全裸或半裸照片或视频。(注112)美国至少有500多个由青少年创办、以盈利为目的“裸聊”网站,涉及的色情图片数以万计。

六、关于侵犯他国人权

美国在国际人权领域的纪录劣迹斑斑。

美国发动的伊拉克战争和阿富汗战争,造成大量平民伤亡。维基揭密网站2010年10月22日公布的数据显示,2003年3月至2009年底,在伊拉克战争中,有28.5万人伤亡,至少10.9万人丧生,其中63%为平民。(注113)2007年7月,在巴格达的一次袭击中,一架美军直升机射杀了12人,其中包括路透社的一名摄影记者及其司机。(注114)2011年2月20日,美军在阿富汗东北部地区采取军事行动,造成65名无辜平民死亡,其中包括22名妇女和30多名儿童,这是近几个月来最严重的平民死伤事件。(注115)而据《华盛顿邮报》2010年10月15日报道,伊拉克人权部2009年发布的报告说,2004年1月至2008年10月31日,共有85694名伊拉克人丧生。总部设在英国的“伊拉克尸体计数”组织称,自美军入侵伊拉克以来,共有12.2万名平民丧生。(注116)

在阿富汗和其他地区,美国的军事行动也给当地居民造成了巨大死伤。据麦克拉奇报业集团2010年3月2日报道,2009年,以美国为首的北约部队造成535名阿富汗平民伤亡,其中113名平民被枪杀,比上年增加43%。2009年6月以来,美国军队空袭行动造成至少35名阿富汗平民死亡。2010年1月8日,美国导弹袭击巴基斯坦西北地区,造成4人死亡、3人受伤。(注117)2月12日,在阿富汗,5名无辜平民在“美军特别军事行动”中被打死,其中两名是孕妇。(注118)4月12日,美国军队在阿富汗坎大哈省附近开枪扫射一辆大客车,5名平民被打死,18人受伤。(注119)《华盛顿邮报》2010年9月18日报道,自2010年1月以来,驻阿富汗美国军队第二步兵师第五作战旅的5名士兵组成“杀人小组”,实施了至少三起谋杀,肆意杀害阿富汗平民,行凶后毁尸灭迹。(注120)

美国在反恐战争中不断爆出虐囚丑闻。2010年5月,联合国反恐中保护人权问题特别报告员、酷刑报告员、任意拘留问题工作组等向联合国人权理事会提交的联合研究报告称,美国在反恐战争中抓获的人未经指控和审判就被无限期地关押。美国在关塔那摩湾和世界多地建立拘留中心,秘密关押拘留者。美国中央情报局设立了秘密拘留设施,用来审讯所谓“高价值拘留者”。美国司法部首席助理部长帮办布拉德伯里称,中央情报局关押了94人,在对其中28人进行审讯时,采用了强制体位、极度气温变化、剥夺睡眠以及“水刑”等“强化手段”。(注121)美国以反恐为名,跨境抓人。据美联社2010年12月9日援引维基揭密网的报道,美国特工曾于2003年将一名德国公民误认为恐怖分子,在马其顿将其绑架,并秘密关押在中央情报局设于阿富汗的监狱5个月。但美国驻柏林大使馆的高级外交官警告德国政府不要对美国中央情报局的特工发布国际逮捕令。

美国严重侵犯古巴人民的生存权和发展权。2010年10月26日,第65届联大以压倒性多数票第19次通过《必须终止美利坚合众国对古巴的经济、商业和金融封锁》决议,只有包括美国在内的2个国家投反对票。根据1948年《防止及惩治灭绝种族罪公约》第2条,美国对古巴的制裁应被视为“种族灭绝”行为。

美国拒绝参加一些重要的国际人权公约和履行国际义务。美国至今仍未批准《经济、社会和文化权利国际公约》和《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》。2006年,联合国大会通过了《残疾人权利公约》,目前已有96个国家批准该公约,美国尚未批准该公约。《儿童权利公约》迄今已有193个缔约国,美国是极少数未批准该公约的国家之一。

2010年8月20日,美国政府首次就本国人权状况向联合国人权理事会递交报告。11月5日,在接受联合国普遍定期审议时,近60个国家代表在会上向美国提出改善其人权的建议达到创纪录的228项,主要涉及批准核心国际人权公约、少数族裔和土著人权利、种族歧视和关塔那摩监狱等,美国只接受其中40多项。2011年3月18日,联合国人权理事会通过对美国人权普遍定期审议最后文件,而美国却坚持拒绝审议中提出的大多数建议,受到许多国家的批评。一些国家代表在会上发言,对美国拒绝大量建议表示遗憾和失望,指出美国在人权问题上做的还远远不够,敦促美国正视自身的人权纪录,采取措施解决存在的人权问题。

事实说明,美国自身的人权纪录十分糟糕,没有资格冒充世界“人权法官”,却年复一年地发表国别人权报告对其他国家和地区的人权状况进行评判和责难。美国无视自身存在的严重人权问题,却热衷于推行所谓“人权外交”,将人权作为丑化别国形象和谋取自己战略利益的政治工具,这充分暴露了其在人权问题上实行双重标准的伪善面目和借口人权推行霸权主义的不良图谋。我们奉劝美国政府切实改善自身的人权状况,检点自身在人权问题上的所作所为,停止利用人权问题干涉别国内政的霸道行径。

(注107)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年7月9日。

(注108)《侨报》,2010年7月3日。

(注109)《芝加哥论坛报》,2010年10月10日。

(注110)《世界日报》,2010年10月15日。

(注111)《华盛顿时报》,2010年6月16日。

(注112)www.co.jefferson.co.us,2010年3月23日。

(注113)《世界日报》,2010年10月23日。

(注114)《纽约时报》,2010年4月5日。

(注115)《华盛顿邮报》,2011年2月20日。

(注116) newsday,2010年10月24日。

(注117)《圣弗朗西斯科纪事报》,2010年1月9日。

(注118)《纽约时报》,2010年4月5日A4版。

(注119)《纽约时报》,2010年4月13日。

(注120)《华盛顿邮报》,2010年9月18日。

(注121) 联合国文件编号A/HRC/13/42

 

 

 

 

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Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009

BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) — China’s Information Office of the State Council published a report titled “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009” here Friday. Following is the full text:

The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009 on March 11, 2010, 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. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States.

I. On Life, Property and Personal Security

Widespread violent crimes in the United States posed threats to the lives, properties and personal security of its people.

In 2008, U.S. residents experienced 4.9 million violent crimes, 16.3 million property crimes and 137,000 personal thefts, and the violent crime rate was 19.3 victimizations per 1,000 persons aged 12 or over, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2009 (Criminal Victimization 2008, U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov). In 2008, over 14 million arrests occurred for all offenses (except traffic violations) in the country, and the arrest rate for violent crime was 198.2 per 100,000 inhabitants (Crime in the United States, 2008, http://www.fbi.gov). In 2009, a total of 35 domestic homicides occurred in Philadelphia, a 67 percent increase from 2008 (The New York Times, December 30, 2009). In New York City, 461 murders were reported in 2009, and the crime rate was 1,151 cases per 100,000 people. San Antonio in Texas was deemed as the most dangerous among 25 U.S. large cities with 2,538 crimes recorded per 100,000 people (The China Press, December 30, 2009). The murder rate rose 5.5 percent in towns with a population of 10,000 or fewer in 2008 (http://www.usatoday.com, June 1, 2009). Most of the United States’ 15,000 annual murders occur in cities where they are concentrated in poorer neighborhoods (http://www.reuters.com, October 7, 2009).

The United States ranks first in the world in terms of the number of privately-owned guns. According to the data from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), American gun owners, out of 309 million in total population, have more than 250 million guns, while a substantial proportion of U.S. gun owners had more than one weapon. Americans usually buy 7 billion rounds of ammunition a year, but in 2008 the figure jumped to about 9 billion (The China Press, September 25, 2009). In the United States, airline passengers are allowed to take unloaded weapons after declaration.

In the United States, about 30,000 people die from gun-related incidents each year (The China Press, April 6, 2009). According to a FBI report, there had been 14,180 murder victims in 2008 (USA Today, September 15, 2009). Firearms were used in 66.9 percent of murders, 43.5 percent of robberies and 21.4 percent of aggravated assaults (http://www.thefreelibrary.com). USA Today reported that a man named Michael McLendon killed 10 people in two rural towns of Alabama before turning a gun on himself on March 11, 2009. On March 29, a man named Robert Stewart shot and killed eight people and injured three others in a nursing home in North Carolina (USA Today, March 11, 2009). On April 3, an immigrant called Jiverly Wong shot 13 people dead and wounded four others in an immigration services center in downtown Binghamton, New York (The New York Times, April 4, 2009). In the year 2009, a string of attacks on police shocked the country. On March 21, a 26-year-old jobless man shot and killed four police officers in Oakland, California, before he was killed by police gunfire (http://cbs5.com). On April 4, a man called Richard Poplawski shot three police officers to death in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On November 29, an ex-convict named Maurice Clemmons shot four police officers to death inside a coffee shop in Parkland, Washington (The New York Times, December 1, 2 and 3, 2009).

Campuses became an area worst hit by violent crimes as shootings spread there and kept escalating. The U.S. Heritage Foundation reported that 11.3 percent of high school students in Washington D.C. reported being “threatened or injured” with a weapon while on school property during the 2007-2008 school year. In the same period, police responded to more than 900 calls to 911 reporting violent incidents at the addresses of Washington D.C. public schools (A Report of The Heritage Center for Data Analysis, School Safety in Washington, D.C.: New Data for the 2007-2008 School Year, http://www.heritage.org). In New Jersey public schools, a total of 17,666 violent incidents were reported in 2007-2008 (Annual Report on Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Public Schools by New Jersey Department of Education, October 2009, http://www.state.nj.us). In the City University of New York, a total of 107 major crimes occurred in five of its campuses during 2006 and 2007(The New York Post, September 22, 2009).

 

II. On Civil and Political Rights

In the United States, civil and political rights of citizens are severely restricted and violated by the government.

The country’s police frequently impose violence on the people. Chicago Defender reported on July 8, 2009 that a total of 315 police officers in New York were subject to internal supervision due to unrestrained use of violence during law enforcement. The figure was only 210 in 2007. Over the past two years, the number of New York police officers under review for garnering too many complaints was up 50 percent (http://www.chicagodefender.com). According to a New York Police Department firearms discharge report released on Nov. 17, 2009, the city’ s police fired 588 bullets in 2007, killing 10 people, and 354 bullets in 2008, killing 13 people (http://gothamist.com, November 17, 2009). On September 3, 2009, a student of the San Jose State University was hit repeatedly by four San Jose police officers with batons and a Taser gun for more than ten times (http://www.mercurynews.com, October 27, 2009). On September 22, 2009, a Chinese student in Eugene, Oregon was beaten by a local police officer for no reason (The Oregonian, October 23, 2009, http://blog.oregonlive.com). According to the Amnesty International, in the first ten months of 2009, police officers in the U.S. killed 45 people due to unrestrained use of Taser guns. The youngest of the victims was only 15. From 2001 to October, 2009, 389 people died of Taser guns used by police officers (http://theduckshoot.com).

Abuse of power is common among U.S. law enforcers. In July 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation put four police officers in the Washington area under investigation for taking money to protect a gambling ring frequented by some of the region’s most powerful drug dealers over the past two years (The Washington Post, July, 19, 2009). In September 2009, an off-duty police officer in Chicago attacked a bus driver for “cutting him off in traffic” as he rode a bicycle (Chicago Tribune, September 2009, http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com). In the same month, four former police officers in Chicago were charged with extorting close to 500,000 U.S. dollars from a Hispanic driving an expensive car with out-of-state plates and suspected drug dealers in the name of law enforcement, and offering bribes to their superiors (Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2009). In November 2009, a former police chief of the Prince George’s County’s town of Morningside was charged with selling a stolen gun to a civilian (The Washington Post, November 18, 2009). In major U.S. cities, police stop, question and frisk more than a million people each year – a sharply higher number than just a few years ago (http://huffingtonpost.com, October 8, 2009).

Prisons in the United State are packed with inmates. According to a report released by the U.S. Justice Department on Dec. 8, 2009, more than 7.3 million people were under the authority of the U.S. corrections system at the end of 2008. The correctional system population increased by 0.5 percent in 2008 compared with the previous year (http://www.wsws.org). About 2.3 million were held in custody of prisons and jails, the equivalent of about one in every 198 persons in the country. From 2000 to 2008, the U.S. prison population increased an average of 1.8 percent annually (http://mensnewsdaily.com, January 18, 2010). The California government even suggested sending tens of thousands of illegal immigrants held in the state to Mexico, in order to ease its overcrowded prison system (http://news.yahoo.com, January 26, 2010).

The basic rights of prisoners in the United States are not well-protected. Raping cases of inmates by prison staff members are widely reported. According to the U.S. Justice Department, reports of sexual misconduct by prison staff members with inmates in the country’s 93 federal prison sites doubled over the past eight years. Of the 90 staff members prosecuted for sexual abuse of inmates, nearly 40 percent were also convicted of other crimes (The Washington Post, September11, 2009). The New York Times reported on June 24, 2009 that according to a federal survey of more than 63,000 federal and state inmates, 4.5 percent reported being sexually abused at least once during the previous 12 months. It was estimated that there were at least 60,000 rapes of prisoners across the United States during the same period (The New York Times, June 24, 2009).

Chaotic management of prisons in the United State also led to wide spread of diseases among the inmates. According to a report from the U.S. Justice Department, a total of 20,231 male inmates and 1,913 female inmates had been confirmed as HIV carriers in the U.S. federal and state prisons at yearend 2008. The percentage of male and female inmates with HIV/AIDS amounted to 1.5 and 1.9 percent respectively (http://www.news-medical.net, December 2, 2009). From 2007 to 2008, the number of HIV/AIDS cases in prisons in California, Missouri and Florida increased by 246, 169, and 166 respectively. More than 130 federal and state inmates in the U.S. died of AIDS-related causes in 2007 (http://thecrimereport.org, December 2, 2009). A report by the Human Rights Watch released in March 2009 said although the New York State prison registered the highest number of prisoners living with HIV in the country, it did not provide the inmates with adequate access to treatment, and even locked the inmates up separately, refusing to provide them with treatment of any kind. (www.hrw.org, March 24, 2009).

While advocating “freedom of speech,” “freedom of the press” and “Internet freedom,” the U.S. government unscrupulously monitors and restricts the citizens’ rights to freedom when it comes to its own interests and needs.

The U.S. citizens’ freedom to access and distribute information is under strict supervision. According to media reports, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) started installing specialized eavesdropping equipment around the country to wiretap calls, faxes, and emails and collect domestic communications as early as 2001. The wiretapping programs was originally targeted at Arab-Americans, but soon grew to include other Americans. The NSA installed over 25 eavesdropping facilities in San Jose, San Diego, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago among other cities. The NSA also announced recently it was building a huge one million square feet data warehouse at a cost of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars at Camp Williams in Utah, as well as another massive data warehouse in San Antonio, as part of the NSA’s new Cyber Command responsibilities. The report said a man named Nacchio was convicted on 19 counts of insider trading and sentenced to six years in prison after he refused to participate in NSA’s surveillance program (http://www.onelinejournal.com, November 23, 2009).

After the September 11 attack, the U.S. government, in the name of anti-terrorism, authorized its intelligence authorities to hack into its citizens’ mail communications, and to monitor and erase any information that might threaten the U.S. national interests on the Internet through technical means. The country’s Patriot Act allowed law enforcement agencies to search telephone, email communications, medical, financial and other records, and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting foreign persons suspected of terrorism-related acts. The Act expanded the definition of terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which law enforcement powers could be applied. On July 9, 2008, the U.S. Senate passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act of 2008, granting legal immunity to telecommunication companies that take part in wiretapping programs and authorizing the government to wiretap international communications between the United States and people overseas for anti-terrorism purposes without court approval (The New York Times, July 10, 2008). Statistic showed that from 2002 to 2006, the FBI collected thousands of phones records of U.S. citizens through mails, notes and phone calls. In September 2009, the country set up an Internet security supervision body, further worrying U.S. citizens that the U.S. government might use Internet security as an excuse to monitor and interfere with personal systems. A U.S. government official told the New York Times in an interview in April 2009 that NSA had intercepted private email messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by U.S. Congress the year before. In addition, the NSA was also eavesdropping on phones of foreign political figures, officials of international organizations and renowned journalists (The New York Times, April, 15, 2009). The U.S. military also participated in the eavesdropping programs. According to CNN reports, a Virginia-based U.S. military Internet risk evaluation organization was in charge of monitoring official and unofficial private blogs, official documents, personal contact information, photos of weapons, entrances of military camps, as well as other websites that “might threaten its national security.”

The so-called “freedom of the press” of the United States was in fact completely subordinate to its national interests, and was manipulated by the U.S. government. According to media reports, the U.S. government and the Pentagon had recruited a number of former military officers to become TV and radio news commentators to give “positive comments” and analysis as “military experts” for the U.S. war in Iraq and Afghanistan, in order to guide public opinions, glorify the wars, and gain public support of its anti-terrorism ideology (The New York Times, April 20, 2009). At yearend 2009, the U.S. Congress passed a bill which imposed sanctions on several Arab satellite channels for broadcasting contents hostile to the U.S. and instigating violence (http://blogs.rnw.nl). In September 2009, protesters using the social-networking site Twitter and text messages to coordinate demonstrations clashed with the police several times in Pittsburgh, where the Group of 20 summit was held. Elliot Madison, 41, was later charged with hindering apprehension of the protesters through the Internet. The police also searched his home (http://www.nytimes.com, October 5, 2009). Vic Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said the same conduct in other countries would be called human rights violations whereas in the United States it was called necessary crime control.

 

III. On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Poverty, unemployment and the homeless are serious problems in the United States, where workers’ economic, social and cultural rights cannot be guaranteed.

Unemployment rate in the U.S. in 2009 was the highest in 26 years. The number of bankrupt businesses and individuals kept rising due to the financial crisis. The Associated Press reported in April 2009 that nearly 1.2 million businesses and individuals filed for bankruptcy in the previous 12 months – about four in every 1,000 people, a rate twice as high as that in 2006 (http://www.floridabankruptcyblog.com). By December 4, 2009, a total of 130 U.S. banks had been forced to close in the year due to the financial crisis (Chicago Tribune, December 4, 2009). Statistics released by the U.S. Labor Department on Nov. 6, 2009 showed unemployment rate in October 2009 reached 10.2 percent, the highest since 1983 (The New York Times, November 7, 2009). Nearly 16 million people were jobless, with 5.6 million, or 35.6 percent of the unemployed, being out of work for more than half a year (The New York Times, November 13, 2009). In September, about 1.6 million young workers, or 25 percent of the total, were jobless, the highest since 1948 when records were kept (The Washington Post, September 7, 2009). In the week ending on March 7, 2009, the continuing jobless claims in the U.S. were 5.47 million, higher than the previous week’s 5.29 million (http://247wallst.com, March 19, 2009).

The population in poverty was the largest in 11 years. The Washington Post reported on September 10, 2009, that altogether 39.8 million Americans were living in poverty by the end of 2008, an increase of 2.6 million from that in 2007. The poverty rate in 2008 was 13.2 percent, the highest since 1998. The number of people aged between 18 to 64 living in poverty in 2008 had risen to 22.1 million, 170,000 more than in 2007. Up to 8.1 million families were under poverty, accounting for 10.3 percent of the total families (The Washington Post, September 11, 2009). According to a report of the New York Times on Sept. 29, 2009, the poverty rate in New York City in 2008 was 18.2 percent and nearly 28 percent of the Bronx borough’s residents were living in poverty (The New York Times, September 29, 2009). From August 2008 to August 2009, more than 90,000 poor households in California suffered power and gas cuts. A 93-year-old man was frozen to death at his home (http://www.msnbc.msn.com). Poverty led to a sharp rise in the number of suicides in the United States. It is reported that there are roughly 32,000 suicides in the U.S. every year, nearly double the cases of murder, which numbered 18,000 (http://www.time.com). The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said the poor economy was taking a toll even on the dead as more bodies in the county went unclaimed by families who could not afford funeral expenses. A total of 712 bodies in Los Angles County were cremated with taxpayers’ money in 2008, an increase of 36 percent over the previous year (The Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2009).

The population in hunger was the highest in 14 years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Nov. 16, 2009, that 49.1 million Americans living in 17 million households, or 14.6 percent of all American families, lacked consistent access to adequate food in 2008, up 31 percent from the 13 million households, or 11.1 percent of all American families, that lacked stable and adequate supply of food in 2007, which was the highest since the government began tracking “food insecurity” in 1995 (The New York Times, November 17, 2009; 14.6% of Americans Could Not Afford Enough Food in 2008, http://business.theatlantic.com). The number of people who lacked “food security,” rose from 4.7 million in 2007 to 6.7 million in 2008 (http://www.livescience.com, November 26, 2009). About 15 percent of families were still working for adequate food and clothing (The Associated Press, November 27, 2009). Statistics showed 36.5 million Americans, or about one eighth of the U.S. total population, took part in the food stamp program in August 2009, up 7.1 million from that of 2008. However, only two thirds of those eligible for food stamps actually received them (http://www.associatedcontent.com).

Workers’ rights were seriously violated. The New York Times reported on Sept. 2, 2009 that 68 percent of the 4,387 low-wage workers in a survey said they had experienced reduction of wages. And 76 percent of those who had worked overtime were not paid accordingly, and 57 percent of those interviewed had not received pay documents to make sure pay was legal and accurate. Only eight percent of those who suffered serious injuries on the job filed for compensation. Up to 26 percent of those surveyed were paid less than the national minimum wage. Among those who complained about wages or treatment, 43 percent had experienced retaliation or dismissal (The New York Times, September 2, 2009). According to a report by the USA Today on July 20, 2009, a total of 5,657 people died at workplaces across the U.S. in 2007, about 17 deaths each day. About 200,000 workers in New York State were injured or sickened at workplaces each year (USA Today, July 20, 2009).

The number of people without medical insurance has kept rising for eight consecutive years. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Sept. 10, 2009, showed 46.3 million people were without medical insurance in 2008, accounting for 15.4 percent of the total population, comparing 45.7 million people who were without medical insurance in 2007, which was a rise for the eighth year in a row. About 20.3 percent of Americans between 18 to 64 years old were not covered by medical insurance in 2008, higher than the 19.6 percent in 2007 (http://www.census.gov). A study released by the Commonwealth Fund showed health insurance coverage of adults aged 18 to 64 declined in 31 U.S. states from 2007 to 2009 (Reuters, October 8, 2009). The number of states with extremely high number of adults who were not covered by medical insurance increased from two in 1999 to nine in 2009. More than one in every four people in Texas were uninsured, the highest percentage among all states (http://www.ncpa.org). Houston had 40.1 percent of its residents uninsured (http://www.msnbc.msn.com). In 2008, altogether 2,266 U.S. veterans under the age of 65 died for lack of health insurance coverage or medical care, 14 times higher than the U.S. military death toll in Afghanistan that year (AFP, November 11, 2009). A report by the Consumer International showed 34 percent of U.S. families with annual income below 50,000 U.S. dollars and 21 percent of homes with annual income exceeding 100,000 U.S. dollars lost medical insurance or suffered reduction in medical insurance in 2009. In addition, two thirds of households with annual income below 50,000 U.S. dollars and one third of homes earning more than 100,000 U.S. dollars a year cut their medical expenses last year. About 28 percent Americans chose not to see a doctor when they fell ill; a quarter of them could not afford medical bills; 22 percent postponed medical treatment; a fifth of them did not buy medicine prescribed by doctors or undergo medical checkups; 15 percent took expired drugs or did not follow medical instructions to take medicine on time in order to save money (http://www.oregonlive.com). According to a report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on December 8, 2009, average life expectancy of Americans was 78.1 years in 2007, ranking the fourth from bottom among all member states of OECD. The average life expectancy of OECD member states was 79.1 that year (http://www.msnbc.msn.com).

The number of homeless has been on the rise. Statistics show that by September 2008, an upward of 1.6 million homeless people in the U.S. had been receiving shelter, and the number of those in families rose from 473,000 in 2007 to 517,000 in 2008 (USA Today, July 9, 2009). Since 2009, homeless enrollments in the six counties of Chicago area had climbed, with McHenry County seeing the biggest hike – an increase of 125 percent over the previous year (Chicago Tribune, November 28, 2009). These families could only live in shabby places such as wagons. In March 2009, a sprawling tent city was seen in Sacramento of California where hundreds of homeless gathered. Police in Santa Monica of southern California even regularly used force to drive the homeless out of the city (www.truthalyzer.com). In October, several thousand homeless in Detroit got into a fight, worrying they might not receive the government’s housing subsidies (USA Today, October 8, 2009). In December, there were 6,975 homeless single adults in shelters in New York City, not including military veterans, chronically homeless people, and the 30,698 people living in short-term housing for homeless families (The New York Times, December 10, 2009). The Houston Chronicle reported on March 16, 2009 that large numbers of houses in Galveston were destroyed by Hurricane Ike in September 2008, leaving thousands homeless. About 1,700 households did not receive any aid and most of them do not have fixed residences (Houston Chronicle, March 16, 2009).

IV. On Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination is still a chronic problem of the United States.

Black people and other minorities are the most impoverished groups in the United States. According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Census, the real median income for American households in 2008 was 50,303 U.S. dollars. That of the non-Hispanic white households was 55,530 U.S. dollars, Hispanic households 37,913 U.S. dollars, black households only 34,218 U.S. dollars. The median incomes of Hispanic and black households were roughly 68 percent and 61.6 percent of that of the non-Hispanic white households. Median income of minority groups was about 60 to 80 percent of that of majority groups under the same conditions of education and skill background (The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2009; USA Today, September 11, 2009). According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, the poverty proportion of the non-Hispanic white was 8.6 percent in 2008, those of African-Americans and Hispanic were 24.7 percent and 23.2 percent respectively, almost three times of that of the white (The New York Times, September 29, 2009). About one quarter of American Indians lived below the poverty line. In 2008, 30.7 percent of Hispanic, 19.1 percent of African-Americans and 14.5 percent of non-Hispanic white lived without health insurance (Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008, http://www.census.gov). According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a record 10,552 fair housing discrimination complaints were filed in fiscal 2008, 35 percent of which were alleged race discrimination (The Washington Post, June 10, 2009). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that while African-Americans make up 12 percent of the US population, they represent nearly half of new HIV infections and AIDS deaths every year (The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2009; revised statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Employment and occupational discrimination against minority groups is very serious. Minority groups bear the brunt of the U.S. unemployment. According to news reports, the U.S. unemployment rate in October 2009 was 10.2 percent. The jobless rate of the U.S. African-Americans jumped to 15.7 percent, that of the Hispanic rose to 13.1 percent and that of the white was 9.5 percent (USA Today, November 6, 2009). Unemployment rate of the black aged between 16 and 24 saw a record high of 34.5 percent, more than three times the average rate. Unemployment rates for the black in cities such as Detroit and Milwaukee had reached 20 percent (The Washington Post, December 10, 2009). In some American Indians communities, unemployment rate was as high as 80 percent (The China Press, November 6, 2009). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for black male college graduates aged 25 and older in 2009 has been twice that of white male college graduates, 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent (The New York Times, December 1, 2009). In 2008, a record number of workers filed federal job discrimination complaints, with allegations of race discrimination making up the greatest portion at more than one-third of the 95,000 total claims (AP, April 27, 2009). According to an investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a Houston-based oil and gas drilling company faced five complaints of racial harassment and discrimination (AP, November 18, 2009). According to a news report, by the end of May 2009, the black and Hispanic groups each accounted for roughly 27 percent of New York City’s population, but only 3 percent of the 11,529 firefighters were black, and about 6 percent were Hispanic since the city’s fire department unfairly excluded hundreds of qualified people of color from the opportunity to serve (The New York Times, July 23, 2009).

The U.S. minority groups face discriminations in education. According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Census, 33 percent of the non-Hispanic white has college degrees, proportion of the black was only 20 percent and Hispanic was 13 percent (US Bureau of Census, April 27, 2009, http://www.census.gov). According to a report, from 2003 to 2008, 61 percent of black applicants and 46 percent of Mexican-American applicants were denied acceptance at all of the law schools to which they applied, compared with 34 percent of white applicants (The New York Times, January 7, 2010). African-American children accounted for only 17 percent of the U.S. public school students, but accounted for 32 percent of the total number which were expelled from the schools. According to a research by the University of North Carolina and Michigan State University, most of the black juvenile believed that they were victims of racial discrimination (Science Daily, April 29, 2009). According to another study conducted among 5,000 children in Birmingham, Ala., Houston and Los Angeles, prejudice was reported by 20 percent of blacks and 15 percent of Hispanics. The study showed that racial discrimination was an important cause to mental health problems for children of varied races. Hispanic children who reported racism were more than three times as likely as other children to have symptoms of depression, blacks were more than twice as likely (USA Today, May 5, 2009).

Racial discrimination in law enforcement and judicial system is very distinct. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, by the end of 2008, 3,161 men and 149 women per 100,000 persons in the U.S. black population were under imprisonment (www.ojp.usdoj.gov). The number of life imprisonment without parole given to African-American young people was ten times of that given to white young people in 25 states. The figure in California was 18 times. In major U.S. cities, there are more than one million people who were stopped and questioned by police in streets, nearly 90 percent of them were minority males. Among those questioned, 50 percent were African-Americans and 30 percent were Hispanics. Only 10 percent were white people (The China Press, October 9, 2009). A report released by New York City Police Department, of the people involved in police shootings whose ethnicity could be determined in 2008, 75 percent were black, 22 percent were Hispanic; and 3 percent were white (The New York Times, November 17, 2009). According to a report by Human Rights Watch, from 1980 to 2007, the ratio of the African-Americans being arrested for dealing drugs across the U.S. was 2.8 to 5.5 times of that of the white (www.hrw.org, March 2, 2009).

Since the Sept. 11 event, discrimination against Muslims is increasing. Nearly 58 percent of Americans think Muslims are subject to “a lot” of discrimination, according to two combined surveys released by the Pew Research Center. About 73 percent of young people aged 18 to 29 are more likely to say Muslims are the most discriminated against (http://www.washingtontimes.com, September 10, 2009).

Immigrants live in misery. According to a report by the U.S. branch of Amnesty International, more than 300,000 illegal immigrants were detained by U.S. immigration authorities each year, and the illegal immigrants under custody exceeded 30,000 for each single day (World Journal, March 26, 2009). At the same time, hundreds of legal immigrants were put under arrest, denied entry or even sent back under escort every year (Sing Tao Daily, April 13, 2009). A report released by the Constitution Project and Human Rights Watch revealed that from 1999 to 2008, about 1.4 million detained immigrants were transferred. Tens of thousands of longtime residents of cities like Los Angeles and Philadelphia were sent, by force, to remote immigrant jails in Texas or Louisiana (The New York Times, November 2, 2009). The New York City Bar Association received a startling petition in October 2008 which was signed by 100 men, all locked up without criminal charges in the Varick Street Detention Facility in the middle of Manhattan. The letter described their cramped, filthy quarters where dire medical needs were ignored and hungry prisoners were put to work for 1 dollar a day (The New York Times, November 2, 2009). Some detained women who were still in lactation period were denied breast pumps in the facilities, resulting in fever, pain, mastitis, and the inability to continue breastfeeding upon release (www.hrw.org, March 16, 2009). A total of 104 people have died while in custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency since October, 2003 (The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2009).

Ethnic hatred crimes are frequent. According to statistics released by the U.S. Federal Investigation Bureau on November 23, 2009, a total of 7,783 hate crimes occurred in 2008 in the United States, 51.3 percent of which were originated by racial discrimination and 19.5 percent were for religious bias and 11.5 percent were for national origins (www.fbi.gov). Among those hate crimes, more than 70 percent were against black people. In 2008, anti-black offenses accounted for 26 persons per 1,000 people, and anti-white crimes accounted for 18 persons per 1,000 people (victim characteristics, October 21, 2009, http://www.fbi.gov). On June 10, 2009, a white supremacist gunned down a black guard of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum with another two wounded (The Washington Post, June 11, 2009, The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2009). According to a report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an environment of racial intolerance and ethnic hatred, fostered by anti-immigrant groups and some public officials, has helped fuel dozens of attacks on Latinos in Suffolk County of New York State during the past decade (The New York Times, September 3, 2009).

V. On the 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. Women account for 51 percent of the U.S. population, but only 92 women, or 17 percent of the seats, serve in the current 111th U.S. Congress. Seventeen women serve in the Senate and 75 women serve in the House (Members of the 111th United States Congress, http://en.wikipedia.org). A study shows minorities and women are unlikely to hold top positions at big U.S. charities and nonprofits. The study reveals that women make up 18.8 percent of nonprofit CEOs compared to just 3 percent at Fortune 500 companies. Among the 400 biggest charities in the U.S., no cultural organization, hospital, public affairs group, Jewish federation or other religious organization is headed by a woman (The Washington Times, September 20, 2009).

Women have difficulties in finding a job and suffer from low income and poor financial situations. According to statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), workplace discrimination charge filings with the federal agency nationwide rose to 95,402 during Fiscal Year 2008, a 15 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. Charge of workplace discrimination because of a job applicant’s sex maintained a high proportion (www.eeoc.gov, November 3, 2009). According to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2009, the median incomes of full-time female workers in 2008 were 35,745 U.S. dollars, 77 percent of those of corresponding men whose median earnings were 46,367 U.S. dollars, which is lower than the 78 percent in 2007 (The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2009; http://www.census.gov, September 10, 2009). According to the Associated Press, a female pharmacist who had been working for Walmart for ten years was fired in 2004 for demanding the same income as her male counterparts (The Associated Press, October 5, 2009). By the end of 2008, 4.2 million, or 28.7 percent of families with a female householder where no husband is present were poor (www.census.gov, September 10, 2009). About 64 million, or 70 percent of working-age American women have no health insurance coverage, or have inadequate coverage, high medical bills or debt problems, or problems in accessing care because of cost (The China Press, May 12, 2009).

Women are frequent victims of violence and sexual assault. It is reported that the United States has the highest rape rate among countries which report such statistics. It is 13 times higher than that of England and 20 times higher than that of Japan (Occurrence of rape, http://www.sa.rochester.edu). In San Diego, a string of similar attacks happened to five women who have been sexually assaulted by a home invader in March 2009 (Sing Tao Daily, March 14, 2009). According to a report released by the Pentagon, more than 2,900 sexual assaults in the military were reported in 2008, up nearly 9 percent from the year before. And of those, only 292 cases resulted in a military trial. The report said the actual numbers of such cases could be five to ten times of the reported figure (The evening news of the Columbia Broadcasting System, March 17, 2009). Reuters reported that based on in-depth interviews on 40 servicewomen, 10 said they had been raped, five said they were sexually assaulted including attempted rape, and 13 reported sexual harassment (Reuters, April 16, 2009).

American children suffer from hunger and cold. A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that 16.7 million children, or one fourth of the U.S. total, had not enough food in 2008 (The Washington Post, USA Today, November 17, 2009). The food relief institution Feeding America said in a report that more than 3.5 million children under the age of five face hunger or malnutrition. This figure accounts for 17 percent of American children aged five and under. In 11 states, more than 20 percent of young children were at risk for hunger. Louisiana, with 24.2 percent, had the highest rate of child food insecurity (www.feedingamerica.org, May 7, 2009). Children at or below 18 account for more than one third of the U.S. people in poverty. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that the number of children younger than 18 who live in poverty increased from 13.3 million in 2007 to 14.1 million in 2008 (http://www.census.gov, The Washington Post, September 11, 2009). According to statistics from the U.S-based National Center on Family Homelessness, from 2005 to 2006, more than 1.5 million children, or one in every 50 children, were homeless in the U.S. every year. Among the homeless children, 42 percent were younger than 6 and the majority were African-Americans and Indians (CNN.com, MSNBUC.com, March 10, 2009). In 2008, nearly one tenth of the children in the United States were not covered by health insurance. It was reported that about 7.3 million children, or 9.9 percent of the American total, were without health insurance in 2008. In Nevada, 20.2 percent of the children were uncovered by insurance (http://www.census.gov, the Washington Post, September 21). On August 13, 2009, a state board voted that California will begin terminating health insurance for more than 60,000 children on October 1. The program could ultimately drop nearly 670,000 children by the end of June 2010 (The Los Angeles Times, The China Press, August 14, 2009). A research led by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center showed that lack of health insurance might have led or contributed to nearly 17,000 deaths among hospitalized children in the U.S. in the span of less than two decades (Journal of Public Health, October 30, 2009). The A/H1N1 flu has infected about 8 million children under 18 from April to October 2009, killing 540 of them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States (USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2009).

Children are exposed to violence and living in fear. It is reported that 1,494 children younger than 18 nationwide were murdered in 2008 (USA Today, October 8, 2009). A report released by the Health Department of the New York City on June 16, 2009 showed that between 2001 and 2007, the national average rate of child deaths was 20 per 100,000 children aged 1 to 12 years. Homicide rates were 1.3 deaths per 100,000 among the group (http://www.nyc.gov). A survey conducted by the U.S. Justice Department on 4,549 kids and adolescents aged 17 and younger between January and May of 2008 showed, more than 60 percent of children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly. Nearly half of all children surveyed were assaulted at least once in the past year, about 6 percent were victimized sexually, and 13 percent reported having been physically bullied in the past year (The Associated Press, October 7, 2009). There have been at least 1,227 children died from abuse or neglect in Texas since 2002 (The Houston Chronicle, October 22, 2009). According to research of U.S.-based institution and public health media reports, in the U.S., one third of children who run away or were expelled from home performed sexual acts in exchange for food, drugs and a place to stay every year. The justice system no longer considers them as young victims, but as juvenile offenders (The China Press, October 28, 2009).

Child farmworkers are prevalent. An organization devoted to protecting children’s rights disclosed that as many as 400,000 children are estimated to work on U.S. farms. Davis Strauss, executive director of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, noted that for decades, children, some as young as eight years old, have labored in the fields using sharp tools and toiling amongst dangerous pesticides. The association’s president Ernie Flores said children account for about 20 percent of all farm fatalities in the United States (Spain’s Uprising newspaper, October 14, 2009). A labor standards act permits a child beyond 13 to work in heat for long time in a farm, but does not permit that child to work in an air-conditioned office and even forbids them working in a fast food restaurant.

The U.S. is the only country in the world that does not apply parole system to minors. Detentions of juveniles have increased 44 percent from 1985 to 2002. Many children only committed only minor crimes but could not get assistance from lawyers. Many procurators and judges turned a blind eye on abuse in juvenile prisons.

VI. On U.S. Violations of Human Rights 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 biggest arms seller, its deals have greatly fueled instability across the world. The United States also expanded its military spending, already the largest in the world, by 10 percent in 2008 to 607 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 42 percent of the world total (The AP, June 9, 2009).

According to a report by the U.S. Congress, the U.S. foreign arms sales in 2008 soared to 37.8 billion U.S. dollars from 25.4 billion a year earlier, up by nearly 50 percent, accounting for 68.4 percent of the global arms sales that were at its four-year low (Reuters, September 6, 2009). At the beginning of 2010, the U.S. government announced a 6.4-billion-U.S. dollar arms sales package to Taiwan despite strong protest from the Chinese government and people, which seriously damaged China’s national security interests and aroused strong indignation among the Chinese people.

The wars of Iraq and Afghanistan have placed heavy burden on American people and brought tremendous casualties and property losses to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Iraq has led to the death of more than 1million Iraqi civilians, rendered an equal number of people homeless and incurred huge economic losses. In Afghanistan, incidents of the U.S. army killing innocent people still keep occurring. Five Afghan farmers were killed in a U.S. air strike when they were loading cucumbers into a van on August 5, 2009 (http://www.rawa.org). On June 8, the U.S. Department of Defense admitted that the U.S. raid on Taliban on May 5 caused death of Afghan civilians as the military failed to abide by due procedures. The Afghan authorities have identified 147 civilian victims, including women and children, while a U.S. officer put the death toll under 30 (The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 9, 2009).

Prisoner abuse is one of the biggest human rights scandals of the United States. A report presented to the 10th meeting of Human Rights Council of the United Nations in 2009 by its Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism showed that the United States has pursued a comprehensive set of practices including special deportation, long-term and secret detentions and acts violating the United Nations Convention against Torture. The rapporteur also said, in a report submitted to the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations, that the United States and its private contractors tortured male Muslims detained in Iraq and other places by stacking the naked prisoners in pyramid formation, coercing the homosexual sexual behaviors and stripping them in stark nakedness (The Washington Post, April 7, 2009). The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has begun interrogation by torture since 2002. The U.S. government lawyers disclosed that since 2001, CIA has destroyed 92 videotapes relating to the interrogation to suspected terrorists, 12 of them including the use of torture (The Washington Post, March 3, 2009). The CIA interrogators used a handgun and an electric drill to frighten a captured al-Qaeda commander into giving up information (The Washington Post, August 22, 2009). The U.S. Justice Department memos revealed the CIA kept prisoners shackled in a standing position for as long as 180 hours, more than a dozen of them deprived of sleep for at least 48 hours, three for more than 96 hours, and one for the nearly eight-day maximum. Another seemed to endorse sleep deprivation for 11 days, stated on one memo (http://www.chron.com). The CIA interrogators used waterboarding 183 times against the accused 9/11 major plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and 83 times against suspected Al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah (The New York Times, April 20, 2009). A freed Guantanamo prisoner said he experienced the “medieval” torture at Guantanamo Bay and in a secret CIA prison in Kabul (AFP, London, March 7, 2009). In June 2006, three Guantanamo Bay inmates could have been suffocated to death during interrogation on the same evening and their deaths passed off as suicides by hanging, revealed by a six-month joint investigation for Harpers Magazine and NBC News in 2009 (www.guardian.co.uk, January 18, 2010). A Somali named Mohamed Saleban Bare, jailed at Guantanamo Bay for eight years, told AFP the prison was “hell on earth” and some of his colleagues lost sight and limbs and others ended up mentally disturbed (AFP, Hargisa, Somali, December 21, 2009). A 31-year-old Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay who had been on a long hunger strike apparently committed suicide in 2009 after four prior suicide deaths beginning at 2002 (The New York Times, June 3, 2009). The U.S. government held more than 600 prisoners at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. A United Nations report singled out the Bagram detention facility for criticism, saying some ex-detainees allege being subjected to severe torture, even sexual abuse, and some prisoners put under detention for as long as five years. It also reported that some were held in cages containing 15 to 20 men and that two detainees died in questionable circumstances while in custody (IPS, New York, February 25, 2009). An investigation by U.S. Justice Department showed 2,000 Taliban surrendered combatants were suffocated to death by the U.S. army-controlled Afghan armed forces (http://www.yourpolicicsusa.com, July 16, 2009).

The United States has been building its military bases around the world, and cases of violation of local people’s human rights are often seen. The United States is now maintaining 900 bases worldwide, with more than 190,000 military personnel and 115,000 relevant staff stationed. These bases are bringing serious damage and environmental contamination to the localities. Toxic substances caused by bomb explosions are taking their tolls on the local children. It has been reported that toward the end of the U.S. military bases’ presence in Subic and Clark, as many as 3,000 cases of raping the local women had been filed against the U.S. servicemen, but all were dismissed (http://www.lexisnexis.com, May 17, 2009).

The United States has been maintaining its economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba for almost 50 years. The blockade has caused an accumulated direct economic loss of more than 93 billion U.S. dollars to Cuba. On October 28, 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba,” with a recorded vote of 187 in favor to three against, and two abstentions. This marked the 18th consecutive year the assembly had overwhelmingly called on the United States to lift the blockade without delay (Overwhelming International Rejection of US Blockade of Cuba at UN, http://www.cubanews.ain.cu).

The United States is pushing its hegemony under the pretence of “Internet freedom.” The United States monopolizes the strategic resources of the global Internet, and has been retaining a tight grip over the Internet ever since its first appearance. There are currently 13 root servers of Internet worldwide, and the United States is the place where the only main root server and nine out of the rest 12 root servers are located. All the root servers are managed by the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which is, by the authority of the U.S. government, responsible for the management of the global root server system, the domain name system and the Internet Protocol address. The United States has declined all the requests from other countries as well as international organizations including the United Nations to break the U.S. monopoly over the root servers and to decentralize its management power over the Internet. The United States has been intervening in other countries’ domestic affairs in various ways taking advantage of its control over Internet resources. The United States has a special troop of hackers, which is made up of hacker proficients recruited from all over the world. When post-election unrest broke out in Iran in the summer of 2009, the defeated reformist camp and its advocators used Internet tools such as Twitter to spread their messages. The U.S. State Department asked the operator of Twitter to delay its scheduled maintenance to assist with the opposition in creating a favorable momentum of public opinion. In May 2009, one web company, prompted by the U.S. authorities, blocked its Messenger instant messaging service in five countries including Cuba.

The United States is using a global interception system named “ECHELON” to eavesdrop on communications worldwide. A report of the European Parliament pointed out that the “ECHELON” system is a network controlled by the United States for intelligence gathering and analyzing. The system is able to intercept and monitor the content of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other digital information transmitted via public telephone networks, satellites and microwave links. The European Parliament has criticized the United States for using its “ECHELON” system to commit crimes such as civilian’s privacy infringement or state-conducted industrial espionage, among which was the most striking case of Saudi Arabia’s 6-billion-dollar aircraft contract (see Wikipedia). Telephone calls of British Princess Diana had been intercepted and eavesdropped because her global campaign against land-mines was in conflict with the U.S. policies. The Washington Post once reported that such spying activities conducted by the U.S. authorities were reminiscent of the Vietnam War when the United States imposed wiretapping and surveillance upon domestic anti-war activists.

The United States ignores international human rights conventions, and takes a passive attitude toward international human rights obligations. It signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 32 years ago and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 29 years ago, but has ratified neither of them yet. It has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities either. On Sept. 13, 2007, the 61st UN General Assembly voted to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has been the UN’s most authoritative and comprehensive document to protect the rights of indigenous peoples. The United States also refused to recognize the declaration.

The above-mentioned facts show that the United States not only has a bad domestic human rights record, but also is a major source of many human rights disasters around the world. For a long time, it has placed itself above other countries, considered itself “world human rights police” and ignored its own serious human rights problems. It releases Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse other countries and takes human rights as a political instrument to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests. This fully exposes its double standards on the human rights issue, and has inevitably drawn resolute opposition and strong denouncement from world people. At a time when the world is suffering a serious human rights disaster caused by the U.S. subprime crisis-induced global financial crisis, the U.S. government still ignores its own serious human rights problems but revels in accusing other countries. It is really a pity.

We hereby advise the U.S. government to draw lessons from the history, put itself in a correct position, strive to improve its own human rights conditions and rectify its acts in the human rights field.

 

Chinese:《2009美国人权报告》

新华社北京3月12日电  2010年3月11日,美国国务院发表《2009年国别人权报告》,再次以“世界人权法官”自居,对包括中国在内的世界190多个国家和地区的人权状况进行指责,而对自身十分糟糕的人权纪录熟视无睹、回避掩饰。为了让世界人民了解真实的美国人权状况,我们发表《2009年美国的人权纪录》。

一、关于生命、财产和人身安全

美国社会暴力犯罪严重,公民的生命、财产和人身安全缺乏应有的保障。

美国司法部2009年9月的报告显示,美国12岁以上公民2008年共经历490万起暴力犯罪,1630万起财产犯罪,13.7万起个人盗窃犯罪,其中暴力犯罪的发生率为每千人19.3起。除交通肇事外,2008年,美国共逮捕了1400多万名犯罪分子,其中每10万人有198.2人因暴力犯罪被捕。2009年,费城共发生了35起家庭凶杀案,比2008年同比增长67%。纽约市有记录的谋杀案为461起,平均10万人中的犯罪案为1151起。得克萨斯州的圣安东尼奥市平均10万人中的犯罪案为2538起,被认为是美国25座大城市中最危险的城市。2008年,人口低于10000人的城镇谋杀案上升了5.5%。美国每年发生在城市的谋杀案达15000起,主要集中在比较贫困的社区。

美国私人拥有枪支数量居世界第一。美国联邦调查局及酒、烟和火器局统计显示,美国3.09亿人口拥有近2.5亿支枪,大部分拥有枪支的人都有1支以上的枪。美国人每年购买70亿发子弹,2008年上升到90亿发。美国法律允许飞机乘客经过申报后携带未装弹药的武器。

在美国,每年约有3万人死于各类枪击事件。美国联邦调查局的报告显示,2008年,美国共有14180人死于枪杀案。罪犯在谋杀案、抢劫案和恶性攻击案中使用枪支等武器的分别占66.9%、43.5%和21.4%。《今日美国报》报道,2009年3月11日,麦克林顿在亚拉巴马州的两个镇杀害包括家属在内的10人后自杀。3月29日,罗伯特·斯图尔特在北卡罗来纳州穆尔县一所高级疗养院枪杀8人、打伤3人。4月3日,在纽约州宾厄姆顿市一家移民服务中心,42岁的王林发向正在上英语课的师生开枪射击,造成13人死亡,4人受伤。2009年,不断发生的袭警事件令人震惊。3月21日,加利福尼亚州奥克兰市一名26岁失业男子担心入狱,枪杀4名警员后被警方击毙。4月4日,波普瓦夫斯基在宾夕法尼亚州匹兹堡市开枪杀害3名警察。11月29日,减刑获释的莫里斯·克莱蒙斯在华盛顿州帕克兰一家咖啡馆枪击4名警察。

枪击案蔓延到学校且不断升级,校园成为暴力犯罪的重灾区。美国传统基金会的报告表明,2007至2008学年,华盛顿特区11.3%的高中生曾在校园中经历过枪支等武器的威胁;华盛顿特区公校因遭遇暴力犯罪事件拨打急救电话900多次;新泽西州公校发生17666起暴力事件。纽约市立大学5所学院2006至2007年间发生恶性犯罪案件达107起。

二、关于公民权利和政治权利

美国政府限制、侵犯公民权利和政治权利的情况相当严重。

美国警察施暴严重。据《芝加哥保卫者报》2009年7月8日报道,纽约市有315名警察因在执法过程中滥施暴力而受内部监管计划的监督。2007年,受监督的警察只有210人。过去两年来,纽约警察局因招致过多民众不满而接受内部审查的警察人数上升了50%。纽约警察局2009年11月17日的报告显示,纽约市警察2007年发射588发子弹,造成10人死亡;2008年发射354发子弹,造成13人死亡。2009年9月3日,4名警察用警棍、泰瑟枪殴打圣何塞州立大学学生胡方10次以上。9月22日,一名中国留学生在俄勒冈州尤金市遭一名警员无故殴打。据大赦国际统计,2009年1至10月,美国警方过度使用泰瑟枪导致45人死亡,死亡者中最小年龄15岁。从2001年到2009年10月,有389人因警方使用泰瑟枪致死。

美国执法人员滥用职权。2009年7月,联邦调查局调查了首都华盛顿地区4名连续几年从当地毒贩开设的赌场收取保护费的警察。9月,芝加哥一名休班警察以巴士司机妨碍其自行车道为由对其进行殴打。同月,芝加哥警察局特别行动组4名前警察被指控以执行公务为名,用多种方式敲诈勒索犯罪嫌疑人近50万美元,并多次行贿上级主管。11月,乔治王子县一警察局前局长因私自贩卖缴获的盗窃枪支而被控有罪。在美国大城市,每年有100多万行人在街上被警察叫住盘查、询问、搜身和搜包,这个数字比几年前增长了很多。

美国监狱人满为患。据美国司法部2009年12月8日报告,到2008年底,美国共有730万人被关押在监狱、看守所或处于缓刑或假释中,比2007年上涨了0.5%。其中,230万人在监狱服刑,即每198位美国人中就有1人在服刑。从2000至2008年,美国监狱人数平均每年上涨1.8%。由于加州监狱人满为患的压力和越来越差的财政状况,加利福尼亚州政府拟将上万名非法移民送往墨西哥的监狱。

囚犯基本权利得不到保障。狱警强暴囚犯的现象普遍存在。美国司法部指出,在93家联邦监狱中,监狱工作人员对罪犯进行性侵犯的事件在过去8年中增加了一倍。在被指控对囚犯进行性虐待的90名监狱工作人员中,有40%的人还被判犯有其他罪行。据《纽约时报》2009年6月24日报道,通过对63000多名州和联邦监狱囚犯的调查显示,4.5%的囚犯在过去12个月内至少遭受一次性虐待,估计美国至少发生6万起针对囚犯的强暴案。

监狱管理混乱,疾病蔓延。美国司法部的报告显示,2008年底,美国联邦和各州立监狱中共有20231名男性犯人和1913名女性犯人为艾滋病毒携带者,分别占男女囚犯的1.5%和1.9%。2007至2008年,加利福尼亚州监狱犯人的艾滋病毒携带者增加了246人,密苏里州增加了169人,佛罗里达州增加了166人。2007年,联邦和各州立监狱共有130多名犯人因艾滋病死亡。人权观察2009年3月的一份报告指出,纽约州监狱艾滋病毒携带者的人数大大多于其他大部分州,这些人无法得到相应治疗,甚至被分别关押,拒绝提供任何治疗。

美国一方面在世界上极力兜售“言论自由”、“新闻自由”、“互联网自由”,另一方面却完全按照美国自己的利益和需要,不择手段地监控、限制公民的自由权利。

美国公民接受、传播信息的自由受到严格监控。据报道,美国国家安全局早在2001年就在国内安装专门的窃听设备,监听电话、传真和电子邮件,收集国内的通讯信息。这一项目起初只是针对阿拉伯裔美国人,后来逐渐扩大到其他普通公民。在美国的密苏里州的圣何塞、圣地亚哥、西雅图、洛杉矶、芝加哥等地安装的监听设备超过25台。近日,美国国家安全局正耗资15亿美元在犹他州威廉姆斯营建立一个百万平方英尺的数据库,在圣安东尼奥建设另一个海量数据库,作为其新成立的网络司令部的重要组成部分。一位名叫诺基奥的人因拒绝加入该计划而被指控犯有19项内幕交易罪并被判处6年徒刑。

“9·11”事件后,美国政府打着反恐的旗号,授权情报系统侵入公民的邮件通讯,并通过技术手段全面监控和强制删除网络中威胁美国国家利益的信息。根据美国《爱国者法案》,警察机关有权搜索电话、电子邮件通讯、医疗、财务和其他种类的记录;加强了警察和移民管理单位拘留、驱逐被怀疑与恐怖主义有关的外籍人士的权力。该法案延伸了恐怖主义的定义,扩大了警察机关可管辖的范围。2008年7月9日,美国参议院通过的新版窃听法案,给予参与窃听项目的电信公司法律豁免权,同时允许美国政府以反恐为由在未经法庭批准的情况下,可以对通信一方在美国境外的国际间通讯进行窃听。据统计,美国联邦调查局在2002至2006年间,通过邮件、便条和电话等渠道,窃取数千份美国公民的通讯记录。2009年9月,美国设立了负责互联网安全的监管部门,更加重了美国公民对政府会以维护互联网安全为由对私人系统进行干涉和监管的忧虑。美国一位政府官员在2009年4月接受《纽约时报》采访时承认,美国国家安全局近月来拦截和监听美国公民电子邮件和电话的行为已超越美国国会2008年设下的限制范围。除此之外,他们还秘密监听别国政治人物、国际组织官员、知名记者等的电话。美国军方也参与实施监控。据美国有线新闻网报道,总部设在弗吉尼亚州的美国军方网络风险评估机构,负责监控官方和非官方的个人博客、官方文件、私人联系信息、武器照片、军营入口以及其他“可能威胁国家安全”的网站。

美国所谓的“新闻自由”,实际上完全服从于美国利益,是美国政府操控下的“自由”。据报道,美国政府和五角大楼曾有意安插一批退伍军官,在美国各大广播电视媒体担任评论员,以“军事专家”的身份,对伊拉克战争和阿富汗战争给出“积极评价”和分析,试图引导舆论,美化战争,让公众认同其“反恐”理念,从而获取支持。2009年底,美国国会通过一项法案,以传播反美内容、煽动暴力为由,对中东地区数家阿拉伯卫星电视频道进行制裁。2009年9月,在美国匹兹堡召开20国集团领导人会议时,反资本主义抗议者使用“推特”和手机短信组织群众集会,与警方发生几次冲突。41岁的艾略特·麦迪逊随后被控通过网络帮助抗议者逃避逮捕,警方还搜查了他的住所。宾夕法尼亚州美国公民自由联盟负责人维克·瓦尔扎克称,如果同样的事情发生在别的国家,就会被称为侵犯人权,但在美国,却被称为必要的预防犯罪措施。

三、关于经济、社会和文化权利

美国的贫困、失业、无家可归者等问题严重,劳动者的经济、社会、文化权利得不到保障。

美国失业率创26年新高。受金融危机的影响,美国破产企业和个人数量不断上升。美联社2009年4月报道,过去12个月内美国申请破产保护的企业和个人总数近120万。过去一年中,每1000个美国人中就有4人申请破产,破产率是2006年的两倍。到2009年12月4日,受金融危机影响,美国共有130家银行被迫关闭。据美国劳工部11月6日公布的数据,美国2009年10月失业率达10.2%,有1600万人找不到工作,创1983年以来最高记录。失业超过半年的有560万人,占失业人数的35.6%。9月,年轻人的失业率高达25%,失业人数约为160万,是1948年有记录以来的最高水平。2009年3月7日结束的一周里,美国有547万人继续领取失业津贴,高于前一周的529万人。

贫困人口创11年新高。《华盛顿邮报》2009年9月10日报道,2008年底,美国贫困人口达3980万人,比2007年增加260万人,占美国人口的13.2%,贫困率是1998年以来最高的一年。18至64岁贫困人口上升到2210万,比2007年增加17万人。陷入贫困的家庭占10.3%,达810万个。《纽约时报》2009年9月29日报道,2008年,纽约市贫困率为18.2%,近28%的布郎克斯区居民生活在贫困中。2008年8月至2009年8月,超过9万户加州贫困家庭被断电断气。密歇根州一名93岁的老翁也因断电断气冻死在家中。贫困导致美国自杀人数激增。据报道,美国每年约发生3.2万起自杀事件,几乎是1.8万起谋杀案的两倍。洛杉矶验尸官办公室的官员称,由于经济危机导致许多家庭无法负担丧葬费用。2008年,洛杉矶县有712具尸体无人认领,比上年增加36%。

挨饿人口居14年来最高。美国农业部2009年11月16日报告称,2008年,美国有14.6%即1700万个家庭的4910万人在挨饿,比2007年的11.1%即1300万个家庭增加了31%,创1995年开始此项统计以来的最高纪录。对食物没有安全感的人从2007年的470万上升到2008年的670万。约15%的家庭还在为温饱而奋斗。据统计,2009年8月,美国有3650万人领取食物券,占总人口1/8,比2008年增加了710万。但只有2/3符合申请资格的人获得了食物券。

劳动者权利受到严重侵害。《纽约时报》2009年9月2日报道,根据纽约、洛杉矶和芝加哥学者一项针对4387名低收入工人的调查发现,68%被调查的低收入者被克扣工资。在被迫加班的工人中有76%的人未得到相应的加班报酬,57%被调查者的工资收入没有依法足付证明。仅有8%因公负伤的人要求赔偿。26%的被调查者的工资收入低于全国最低工资标准。在抱怨工资收入及待遇问题的工人当中,43%的工人有被打击报复或被辞退的经历。《今日美国报》2009年7月20日报道,2007年,美国在工作场所死亡的人数为5657人,每天约有17人在工作中死亡,纽约州每年约有20万人在工作场所受伤或得病。

没有医疗保险的人数连续8年增加。根据美国人口普查局2009年9月10日公布的数据,2008年,美国有4630万人无法获得医疗保险,占总人口比例的15.4%,比2007年的4570万人增加约60万人,是连续第8年增加。其中,18至64岁无医疗保险的人数从2007年的19.6%增加到2008年的20.3%。联邦基金的调查显示,2007至2009年,美国31个州18至64岁的成年人医疗保险范围缩小。成年人无医疗保险人口比率极高的州由1999年的2个增加到2009年的9个。得克萨斯州平均每4人中就有1人无医疗保险,居美国之首。休斯敦40.1%的居民无医疗保险。据统计,2008年,有2266名65岁以下的退伍军人因缺乏医疗保险或医疗服务而死亡,全国因无医疗保险死亡的退伍军人比在阿富汗战场上阵亡人数高出14倍。消费者联盟的一项调查显示,过去一年,34%的年收入5万美元以下家庭和21%的年收入10万美元以上家庭医疗保险丧失或遭到削减;2/3年收入5万美元以下的家庭和1/3年收入10万美元以上的家庭削减了医疗支出。28%的人生病不去就医;25%的人无法支付医疗或药品的费用;22%的人拖延实施医疗程序;20%的人有处方不买药或不做医疗检查;15%的人服用过期药物或为了省钱而不遵医嘱按时服药。经济合作与发展组织2009年12月8日发布报告称,2007年美国人均寿命仅为78.1岁,在经合组织成员国中居倒数第四位,而该年经合组织成员国的人均寿命为79.1岁。

无家可归者激增。据统计,截至2008年9月,美国有160万人住进收容所,全家都在收容所的人数从2007年的47.3万增加到2008年的51.7万。2009年以来,芝加哥地区六个县的无家可归者有所增加,其中麦克亨利县增加最多,比上年增长了125%,这些家庭只能住在棚车等简易场所。2009年3月,加州州府萨克拉门托市形成了一个帐篷城,数百名无家可归者聚集在此。南加州的圣莫尼卡市不惜动用武力定期将无家可归者驱逐到市外。10月,底特律市的几千名无家可归者因担心领不到政府的住房补助而大打出手。12月,纽约市收容所有6975名无家可归的单身成人,这个数字不包括短期住所里的30698人、军队老兵和长期无家可归者。《休斯敦纪事报》2009年3月16日报道,2008年9月,加尔维斯顿大量房屋在艾克飓风中损毁,有数千灾民无法重返家园,约1700户家庭未得到救助,大都居无定所。

四、关于种族歧视

种族歧视至今仍是美国社会的一大痼疾。

黑人和其他少数族裔是最贫困的美国人。据美国人口普查局公布的报告,2008年美国中等收入水平的家庭平均年收入50303美元,其中白人为55530美元,而拉美裔则为37913美元,相当于白人的68%;黑人仅为34218美元,相当于白人的61.6%。在同等学历和技能下,少数族裔的平均收入仅为多数族裔收入的60%~80%。据美国人口普查局发布的报告,2008年美国白人的贫困率为8.6%,而黑人、拉美裔人的贫困率分别为24.7%、23.2%,接近白人的3倍,还有1/4的印第安人生活在贫困之中。2008年没有医疗保险的拉美裔人达30.7%,黑人为19.1%,而白人为14.5%。根据美国住房和城市发展部的报告,截至2008年9月的财政年度内,在该部收到的10552起涉及住房投诉案中,种族歧视占35%。美国联邦疾病控制和预防中心的报告显示,非洲裔美国人只占美国人口的12%,却每年占美国新增艾滋病病毒感染者和因艾滋病死亡者的近一半。

对少数民族的就业和职业歧视严重。在美国的失业大军中,少数族裔失业者首当其冲。据报道,2009年10月,美国平均失业率为10.2%,其中,黑人失业率上升到15.7%,西班牙裔人失业率上升到13.1%,而白人失业率为9.5%。16至24岁的黑人失业率达34.5%,超过美国平均失业率的3倍,创历史最高。有些城市的黑人失业率达到20%,有的印第安人部落失业率高达80%。据美国劳工统计局的统计,2009年,25岁以上的黑人男性大学毕业生的失业率是8.4%,接近白人男性大学毕业生失业率4.4%的2倍。据统计,2008年美国95000件职业歧视案中,近1/3为种族歧视案。据美国平等就业委员会称,已连续接到5起关于休斯敦一家石油天然气公司存在种族歧视行为的投诉。据报道,截至2009年5月底,黑人和西班牙裔人口各占纽约市人口的27%,但是由于纽约市消防部门不公正地排除有色人种担任消防队员,黑人消防队员仅占3%,西班牙裔消防队员占6%。

少数民族在受教育方面受到歧视。据美国人口普查局的报告,33%的白人拥有大学学历,但黑人只有20%,拉美裔人只有13%。据报道,2003至2008年间,在向法学院递交申请的学生中,61%的非洲裔和46%的墨西哥裔学生遭到拒绝,而只有34%的白人学生遭到拒绝。非洲裔儿童仅占美国公立学校在校生的17%,但是被开除的数量却占被开除总数的32%。据北卡罗来纳大学和密歇根州立大学关于美国黑人少年对种族歧视看法的研究报告,大部分黑人少年认为自己是种族歧视的受害者。另据一项对休斯敦、洛杉矶和伯明翰5000名儿童的调查显示,20%的黑人儿童认为自己遭遇歧视,拉美裔儿童为15%。研究显示,种族歧视是导致少数族裔儿童精神疾病的重要原因。拉美裔儿童有抑郁症状的数量是其他族裔儿童的3倍,黑人儿童是其他族裔儿童的2倍。

执法和司法领域的种族歧视非常明显。据美国司法部统计,截至2008年底,美国每10万黑人中有3161名男子和149名妇女被关押在监狱里。有25个州非洲裔青年被判处无假释终身监禁的比例是白人青年的10倍,在加利福尼亚州达18倍。在美国各大城市,每年有超过100万行人在大街上被警察叫住盘查,近九成是少数族裔男子,其中五成为非洲裔人,三成为拉丁裔人,而被检查的白人只有一成。纽约市警察局发布的报告显示,2008年纽约市警察针对黑人和拉美裔人开枪的比例分别为75%和22%,而针对白人开枪的比例则为3%。据人权观察发布的报告,1980至2007年,美国全国范围内黑人因毒品犯罪而被拘捕的比例是白人的2.8倍到5.5倍。

“9·11”事件以来,对穆斯林的歧视加剧。一家研究中心发布的一项联合调查显示,58%的美国人认为穆斯林遭受到“很大的”歧视。18至29岁的年轻人中有73%的人认为穆斯林是最受歧视的群体。

移民境遇悲惨。据大赦国际美国分会发表的报告,美国每年拘留30多万非法移民,平均每天在押的移民超过3万人。同时,每年有数以百计的合法移民被拘禁、拒绝入境甚至押送出境。据“宪法项目”研究小组和人权观察联合发布的一份报告,从1999至2008年,有140万名被拘留的移民被转移,原在洛杉矶和费城生活多年的上万名移民被强行移送到遥远的得克萨斯州或路易斯安那州移民监狱。纽约市律师协会2008年10月接到关押在曼哈顿瓦里克拘留所100名男性移民的求援信,描述了拘留所的拥挤、肮脏、缺医少药、挨饿、每天做工只有1美元报酬的境遇。一些哺乳期的母亲被关押后因为被拒绝提供吸奶器,导致伤风、乳腺炎和丧失哺乳能力。2003年10月以来在移民与海关执法局关押中死亡的移民达104人。

种族仇恨犯罪频发。美国联邦调查局2009年11月23日公布的仇恨犯罪统计显示,2008年,美国共发生仇恨犯罪7783起,其中51.3%是基于种族歧视,19.5%基于宗教偏见,11.5%基于国别歧视。在种族仇视案件中,70%以上是针对黑人的。2008年,针对黑人的暴力犯罪达每千人26人,针对白人的数字是每千人18人。2009年6月10日,白人至上主义者和新纳粹分子布伦在华盛顿纳粹大屠杀遇难者纪念馆枪杀黑人保安约翰斯,打伤2人。据美国南方贫困问题法律中心公布的报告,纽约州萨福克县种族不容忍和民族仇恨的氛围造成过去10年间发生很多起白人攻击拉美裔移民事件。

五、关于妇女、儿童权利

美国妇女儿童生存状况每况愈下,妇女儿童的权利得不到应有的保障。

妇女不享有与男子平等的社会政治地位。美国女性人口占总人口的51%,但是在目前第111届美国国会中,男议员有441名,女议员只有92名,占17%,其中参议员17名,众议员75名。一项研究表明,少数族群和妇女很少能在美国的大型慈善机构和非盈利机构中身居要职,妇女仅占非盈利机构首席执行官总人数的18.8%,在世界500强企业中只占3%。在美国400个最大的慈善机构中,所有文化组织、医院、公共事务团体、犹太人联盟或其他宗教组织中没有一个是由妇女领导的。

妇女就业难、收入低、生活贫困。据美国平等就业委员会统计,2008年该委员会共收到就业方面的指控95402件,比上年提高了15%,其中基于性别方面就业歧视的指控继续占很高比例。美国人口普查局2009年9月公布,美国全职妇女2008年的年均收入为35745美元,全职男子的年均收入为46367美元,女性收入为男性的77%,低于2007年的78%。据美联社报道,一名已在沃尔玛工作10年的女药剂师因为要求获得与男同事相同的薪酬于2004年被解雇。到2008年底,有420万个单亲女性家庭生活贫困,比率达28.7%。美国有6400万工作年龄的妇女没有医疗保险或医疗保险额太少、支付账单有困难或欠交医疗费甚至放弃治疗,占工作年龄妇女总数的70%。

妇女频遭暴力和性侵害。据报道,美国强奸发生率比英国高13倍,比日本高20倍,居世界最高。2009年3月,圣迭戈地区连续发生5起尾随妇女入室抢劫并且对受害人施以性侵害的案件。据美国国防部发布的一份研究报告,截至2008年财政年度,美军方共接到2900多起军队内部强奸和其他性侵犯案件,比上一年增加9%,而这些案件中只有292起案件被提交到军事法庭。报道称,此类案件的实际数字可能是举报数字的5到10倍。据路透社报道,根据对40个服役美国女兵的深度采访,其中10人被强奸,5人被性侵犯,还有13人被猥亵。

美国儿童饥寒交迫。据美国农业部公布的报告,2008年,占美国儿童总数1/4的1670万儿童得不到足够食物。美国食物救济机构“喂养美国”公布的一份报告称,美国有350万名5岁以下儿童经常挨饿或营养不良,占儿童总数的17%以上,其中有11个州挨饿儿童比例超过20%,路易斯安那州达到24.2%。美国贫困人口中18岁以下的儿童占1/3以上。据美国人口普查局公布的数据,到2008年底,美国15.7%的18岁以下儿童生活在贫困中,人数从2007年的1330万上升到1410万。据报道,2005至2006年间,美国每年有150多万儿童无家可归,每50名儿童中就有一人无家可归。在无家可归的儿童中,42%不到6岁,大多数是非洲裔和印第安人。2008年美国有近1/10的儿童得不到医疗健康保险。据报道,2008年,美国有730万儿童没有医疗保险;占美国儿童的9.9%,内华达州有20.2%的儿童没有保险。2009年8月13日,加州风险管理医疗保险委员会投票通过决议,从2009年10月起终止6万多名贫困家庭儿童的“健康家庭”医疗保险;到2010年6月底前,将取消67万名贫困家庭儿童的“健康家庭”医疗保险。霍普金斯医学院儿童中心的一项研究表明,过去20年来,由于缺乏医疗保险,导致约1.7万名美国儿童死亡。美国疾病控制与预防中心说,自2009年4月甲型H1N1流感暴发至10月间,美国约800万名18岁以下的儿童染病,其中540人死亡。

儿童生活在暴力和恐惧中。据报道,2008年,美国共有1494名18岁以下的儿童被杀。纽约市卫生局2009年6月16日公布的一份报告显示,2001至2007年间,美国1至12岁儿童死亡率为十万分之二十,其中谋杀死亡率为十万分之一点三。美国司法部2008年1至5月的一项对4549名17岁以下儿童的调查表明,60%以上的美国儿童在过去一年中直接或间接遭受暴力侵犯,近一半被调查儿童至少受过一次攻击,约6%的儿童受到性侵犯,13%的儿童挨过打。2002年以来,得克萨斯州至少有1227名儿童因受虐待或照顾不周而死亡。据美国研究机构和公共卫生媒体的研究报告显示,美国每年有1/3离家出走或者被赶出家门的孩子靠出卖肉体换取食物、药品和居所。司法系统不再把他们当做年幼的受害者,而是把他们当做青少年罪犯。

农业大量使用童工。据一个儿童权益保护组织披露,美国约有40万儿童从事合法的农业工作。据美国农场工人就业培训计划主席戴维斯·斯特劳斯称,数十年以来一直有年龄低于8岁的儿童从事此类工作,而且他们在工作过程中使用的是锋利的劳动工具和危险性极高的农药。该机构领导委员会主席厄尼·弗洛里斯表示,美国因从事农业工作而死亡的人口中有20%是儿童。美国的一项劳动标准法允许13岁以上儿童在炎炎烈日下长时间进行农业劳动,却不允许他们坐在配有空调的办公室里工作,甚至不准在快餐店里打工。

美国是世界上唯一不对少年犯适用假释的国家。从1985至2002年,被关押的青少年增加44%。很多孩子仅犯有轻微违法行为,却没有得到律师的帮助。许多检察官、公诉人和法官对于发生在少年监狱的虐待视而不见。

六、关于侵犯他国人权

美国凭借强大的军事实力,在国际上推行霸权主义,粗暴侵犯他国主权,肆意践踏他国人权。

美国作为全球最大的军火销售国,加剧世界各地不稳定。美国的军费世界第一。据报道,美国军费在2008年又增加了10%,达到6070亿美元,占世界军费的42%。据美国国会的一份报告显示,在2008年全球武器销量创下4年来新低的时候,美国对外军售总额却从上一年的254亿美元猛增到378亿美元,增长了约50%,占当年全球军售总量的68.4%。2010年伊始,美国政府不顾中国政府和人民的强烈抗议,宣布对台湾出售总价值近64亿美元先进武器的军售计划,严重损害中国国家安全利益,引起中国人民的强烈愤慨。

伊拉克战争和阿富汗战争不仅给美国人民增加了沉重的负担,更给伊拉克和阿富汗两国人民的生命财产造成了巨大损失。伊拉克战争已给伊拉克造成逾百万平民死亡、逾百万人无家可归以及巨大财产损失。在阿富汗,美军滥杀无辜的事件至今仍然不断发生。2009年8月5日,5名正在货车上搬运黄瓜的阿富汗农民在美军发动的空袭中丧生。美国国防部2009年6月8日表示,美军在2009年5月5日在打击塔利班时,没有遵守适当的方法和程序,造成阿富汗平民死亡。阿富汗官方目前已收集到了147名遇害平民的姓名,其中包括妇女和儿童,而美国指挥官则称死亡人数不超过30人。

虐囚是近年来美国在人权领域的最大丑闻之一。2009年,联合国人权理事会反恐中保护人权及基本自由问题特别报告员在向人权理事会第10届会议提交的报告中称,美国创造了一套全面的特别递解、长期和秘密拘留以及违反联合国禁止酷刑公约的做法。该报告员在提交第64届联大的报告中指出,美国及其私人承包人对在伊拉克和其他地方关押的男性穆斯林使用了强迫堆叠裸体男囚、强迫与其他被拘留者进行同性性行为、强迫赤身裸体等审讯手段。美国中央情报局自2002年就开始使用酷刑手法审讯犯人。美国政府2009年3月2日证实,中央情报局自2001年以来销毁的92盘有关审讯恐怖犯罪嫌疑人的录像带中有12盘录像带记录了使用酷刑的画面。根据近期公布的秘密报告,中央情报局使用手枪和电棒审讯犯人。根据美国公布的一系列司法部秘密文件,执法者可以将犯人以站立姿势铐住达180小时,十多个中央情报局的犯人被剥夺睡眠最少48小时,有3人被剥夺睡眠超过96小时,其中一人为近8天的时间,另一人被剥夺睡眠11天。据报道,中央情报局审讯人员曾经对“9·11”事件的主要谋划者哈立德·谢赫·穆罕默德使用了183次水刑,并对“基地”组织的另一名军事领导人阿布·祖贝达使用83次水刑。关塔那摩监狱如同人间地狱。据被释放的关塔那摩监狱囚犯穆罕默德称,他在美国中央情报局喀布尔秘密监狱和关塔那摩等监狱遭到了“中世纪般的”拷打。据美国《哈泼斯杂志》和全美广播公司2009年联合进行的调查,2006年6月被指“自杀”的3名关塔那摩监狱囚犯很可能是在同一个晚上接受审讯时窒息而死,当局却对外宣称他们是上吊自杀。在关塔那摩监狱被关押达8年之久的索马里人穆罕默德·萨莱班·巴雷说:“那里是人间地狱。我的狱友们有的眼睛看不见了,有的胳膊、腿没了,有的精神失常。”2009年,被关押在关塔那摩监狱的一名31岁的也门人长期绝食后身亡。自2002年起已有5人死亡,其中4人自杀。美国政府在阿富汗巴格拉姆空军基地关押了600多名囚犯。联合国2009年2月出台的一份报告点名批评巴格拉姆监狱说,有些人在巴格拉姆被关押了5年之久。已经获释的一些被关押者声称他们遭受了严刑拷打,甚至性侵犯。一些人还称他们曾经被关在有15至20个人的笼子里,有两名关押者在监禁期间死亡,死因可疑。另据美国司法部的调查,有2000名塔利班投降士兵被由美军控制的阿富汗武装塞进卡车中窒息死亡。

美国在世界各地设立军事基地,侵犯当地人民人权的事件屡见不鲜。目前,美国在世界上有900处军事基地,基地中有超过19万名士兵和11.5万名相关工作人员。这些基地给当地造成了巨大的破坏和环境污染,炸弹爆炸产生的有毒物质给当地儿童造成巨大的伤害。据报道,在苏比克和克拉克美军基地,已经有约3000件美军士兵强奸当地妇女的案件被提交,但是都被法院裁定不予受理。

美国对古巴进行长达近50年的经济、商业和金融封锁,给古巴带来了超过930亿美元的直接经济损失。2009年10月28日,第64届联大以187票支持、3票反对、2票弃权的压倒性多数第18次通过《必须终止美利坚合众国对古巴的经济、商业和金融封锁》决议,要求美国立即结束对古巴的封锁。

美国打着“互联网自由”的旗号,推行霸权主义。美国垄断着世界互联网的战略资源。互联网自诞生之日起就由美国牢牢掌控,目前全球互联网根服务器有13台,其中唯一的主根服务器在美国,其余12台辅根服务器中有9台在美国。所有根服务器均由美国政府授权的ICANN(国际互联网名称和编号分配公司)统一管理,负责全球互联网根域名服务器、域名体系和IP地址等的管理。世界各国和联合国等国际组织都曾要求打破美国对互联网根服务器的垄断,分享互联网的管理权,但是均遭美国拒绝。美国利用其对互联网资源的垄断地位,通过各种形式干涉别国内政。美国建有专门的黑客部队,并在全球范围内招募黑客精英为其服务。2009年夏天,伊朗发生总统选举骚乱,选举失利的伊朗改革派阵营及其支持者利用“推特”等网络工具发布大量信息。美国国务院要求“推特”运营商推迟系统升级计划,以帮助反对派制造舆论声势。当年5月,某网络公司也曾按照美国政府的授意,切断了古巴等五国的MSN即时通讯服务端口。

美国建立名为“梯队”的窃听系统,对全球进行窃听。欧洲议会的报告书指出,“梯队”系统作为一个由美国操纵的情报收集分析网络,能够在全球范围内拦截以公众电话交换网络、卫星及微波通讯所传送的电话、传真、电子邮件和其他数字资讯,并监控其中的内容。欧洲议会曾点名批评美国利用“梯队”系统从事犯罪活动,如侵犯一般平民的隐私权或国家性质的商业间谍活动,其中最有名的是沙特阿拉伯60亿美元客机案。英国王妃戴安娜生前提倡全球反地雷运动,与美国的政策相抵触,她的电话因此被监听了。《华盛顿邮报》报道说,美国政府的这种间谍行动不禁让人想起了当年越战期间美国政府对国内反战派人士进行监视窃听的行为。

美国漠视国际人权公约,消极对待国际人权义务。美国于32年前签署《经济、社会和文化权利国际公约》,于29年前签署《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》,但迄今均未批准。美国还没有批准《残疾人权利公约》。2007年9月13日,第61届联大表决通过的《土著人民权利宣言》,是迄今联合国通过的保护土著人民权利的最权威和全面的文件,美国依然拒绝承认该宣言。

以上事实说明,美国不仅国内人权纪录十分糟糕,而且是世界许多人权灾难的主要根源。长期以来,美国将自己凌驾于其他国家之上,充当“世界人权警察”,无视自身存在的严重的人权问题,年复一年地发表国别人权报告对别国进行指责,将人权作为干涉别国内政、丑化别国形象和谋取自己战略利益的政治工具,充分暴露了美国在人权问题上的双重标准,理所当然地遭到世界各国人民的坚决反对和强烈谴责。特别是在全世界人民正遭受由美国次贷危机引发的国际金融危机导致的严重人权灾难的时候,美国政府仍不正视自身存在的严重人权问题,而热衷于谴责别国,这是十分令人遗憾的。我们奉劝美国政府汲取历史教训,摆正自己的位置,着力改善自身人权状况,改正在人权领域的所作所为。