China Voice: U.S. should reflect on its shattered human rights record


BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) — China published a report on the United States human rights record on Thursday, providing the hypocritical “defender of human rights” the opportunity to reflect.

Not only did the U.S. see no improvement to its existing human rights issues, but the past year saw the emergence of numerous new problems, according to the report released by China’s State Council Information Office.

A total of 13,136 people were killed and 26,493 injured in 51,675 gun violence incidents in 2015, due to out-of-control gun use. American police shot dead 965 people last year, and there was excessive use of violence by the police, too.

Its prison system was plagued by corruption and severely violated inmates’ human rights. Women in Lowell Correctional Institution, the nation’s largest women’s prison, were forced to barter for basic necessities and protection with their bodies.

Moreover, race relations in the U.S. were at their worst in nearly two decades, with 61 percent of Americans characterizing race relations in the country as “bad.”

The United States also is guilty of human rights violations outside its borders. Airstrikes launched by the United States in Iraq and Syria killed thousands of civilians, and drone attacks launched by the U.S. in Pakistan and Yemen indiscriminately caused hundreds of civilian deaths in 2015.

Instead of reflecting on its own far-from-perfect human rights record, the U.S. has chosen to turn its attention to that of other countries, while placing itself on a pedestal as a vehement human rights watchdog beyond reproach.

The U.S. on Wednesday rolled out its annual report, in which it rated some 190 countries on their human rights practices. The absence of any mention of its own record speaks volumes.

Time and time again, Washington exploits the issue of human rights issues to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

It is too easy for the U.S. to direct criticism at other countries. The more prudent approach would, perhaps, be to hold back on judging others and put its own yard in order.

The pursuit of improved human rights protection is a path that never ends. China, despite the many challenges it has faced, has always been committed to improving human rights protection.

Those without bias will acknowledge the progress China has made in this regard over the past few decades.

In one such example, China published a revised protocol on court hearings on Thursday.

Defendants who stand trial while in custody will no longer have to wear prison uniforms, and in most cases, they will not wear restraints, such as handcuffs or shackles.

Lawyers are allowed to use their own computers in court and defendants rights to defend will be fully protected, it said.

 

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