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