The Information Office of China's
State Council Tuesday released an article titled "US
Human Rights Record in 2000."
said that the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices --
2000 issued by the US State Department on Monday made
unwarranted charges against more than 190 countries and
regions, including China, for their human rights conditions
and accused these countries of fabricated abuses.
At the same time, the US reports had nothing
to say about America's own human rights situation, the
six-part article said.
However, there exist
serious infringements on human rights in the United States,
I. American Democracy - a Myth,
Political Rights Infringed
By elevating itself
to a model of democracy, the United States continuously
hawks American-style democracy to other countries. Under the
pretext of safeguarding this kind of democracy, the United
States continues to make rash criticism of other countries
and interferes in their internal affairs.
Nevertheless, well-informed people know that
the so-called democracy has been a myth since the United
States was founded more than 200 years ago. Political rights
of the US citizens have long been infringed.
Although the US Constitution, adopted in 1787,
stipulates the citizen's right to vote, the right to vote
for every American, regardless of race, color or creed, was
not implemented in law until 184 years later.
Owing to discrimination based on race, gender,
property, education, age and residency, the African
Americans, women and American Indians as well as roughly
one-third of white American males were long deprived of
their legal right to vote. The African Americans, women and
American Indians gained voting rights in 1870, 1920 and 1948
In addition, the voter
eligibility limitations connected to property, poll tax and
low education levels were removed in 1856, 1964 and 1970
In 1971, nearly 200 years after
the founding of the United States, the federal legislature
approved the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, stipulating
that age cannot be a legitimate reason for depriving any
American of his or her right to vote, and setting the legal
voting age at 18. This marked the beginning of universal
Although every American 18 or
older is legally guaranteed the right to vote, voter turnout
in America has remained at a comparatively low level. Since
the beginning of the 20th century, the voter turnouts for
elections for the House of Representatives have been ranged
between 30 and 60 percent.
highest voter turnout rate in the history of presidential
elections, which have been touted as major US political
events, stands at 65 percent.
Under US law,
any presidential candidate who wins the majority of votes
wins the election. Over the years, President- elects only
won 35 percent of all the electorate or less.
The voter turnout rate for the 1996 general
election was only 49 percent, and only 25 percent of
registered voters nationwide voted for president. Thus, the
results of US general elections has not represented the will
of the entire people or the majority.
presidential election further exposed the inherent flaws of
the US electoral system.
The two candidates,
separately representing the Democratic and Republican
parties, filed lawsuit after lawsuit on the counts and
recounts of ballots in Florida and engaged in non-stop
Some organizations even
issued commemorative coins for the election turmoil. The
2000 general election was accompanied by civil
demonstrations and protests.
In line with the
electoral system in the election law which has been carried
out for more than 200 years, electoral votes ultimately
decide which candidate will win.
million voters who cast ballots for president represented
less than one-fourth of the 205 million eligible voters
nationwide, an all-time low in US election history.
Since the right to vote is evidently
meaningless to the majority of eligible voters, the myth of
American democracy was further exposed.
Associated Press reported, "Some were shocked that a
nation often held as a model of democracy could also
American democracy has always
been a game for rich people. In the United States where
politics is highly commercialized, any bidder for official
post needs to spend a significant amount of money to win. No
presidential or congressional candidate will go far without
The general election in
2000 cost about US$3 billion, 50 percent more than that in
1996 and setting a record.
races in various states cost another US$1 billion. While not
forbidding political donations, US law sets upper limits on
donations from individuals to candidates, political
commissions and parties, but allows any amount of
"soft" donations from companies or trade unions to
The soft money collected by
various parties and candidates in 2000 reached 648 million
dollars, four times the amount of four years ago.
During the election campaign, at least 20
donors spent more than one million dollars each. Actress
Jane Fonda gave a US$12 million check for supporting a new
According to an Associate
Press analysis of Federal Election Commission data which was
released on November 9, 2000, 81 percent of year 2000 Senate
winners and 96 percent of House winners outspent their
The AP analysis found 26 of 32
Senate races and 417 of 433 House races won by the candidate
with the most money to spend as of October 18, the last date
for which figures were available.
Makinson, executive director of the Center for Responsive
Politics, a nonpartisan group that studies money and
campaigns, said, "The depressing thing about American
democracy is I can check the fund-raising balances at the
Federal Election Commission and tell you what the election
results will be before the election. "
Thus, the key to American democracy is money,
which directly impacts the election results. A Spanish
daily, El Mundo, referred to money as the "cancer of
American democracy." No other country has seen cancer
as disastrous as that in the United States, the newspaper
Freedom of the press in the United
States is also influenced by money. Wealthy people have the
power to manipulate mass media, which can serve as their
If it can gain financially, the
American establishment will turn a deaf ear to international
covenants. According to the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, any dissemination on advocating war or
ethnic and religious hatred among peoples must be prohibited
by law in any country.
However, ignoring the
international covenant and universal practice in many
countries, the United States has sold or allowed sales of
Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" since 1933.
During World War II, the United States took in
more than 20,000 dollars worth of tax from sales of the
book. For the next 34 years, the US Department of Justice
collected taxes from book sales amounting to 139,000
After buying the book's copyright in
1979, the US publisher Houghton Mifflin continued to sell
the book. Experts estimated that the publishing house has
sold at least 300,000 copies, netting profits worth between
300,000 and 700,000 dollars.
Rampant Violence and Arbitrary Judicial System Are
Jeopardizing the freedom and lives of US citizens
The United States, the only country where
carrying a private weapon is a constitutional right, is a
society ridden with violence.
States is the world's number one "gun nation" with
more than 200 million private guns, or nearly one for each
The number of registered weapon
vendors in the country exceeds 100,000, more than the total
number of overseas outlets of fast food giant MacDonald's.
A tracking investigation of 70,000 guns
conducted annually by a US agency has shown that about
50,000 of them were used in assaults, and the rest turned up
in criminal investigations: 5,000 were used in murders,
5,000 for assaults, several thousand were used in thefts and
robberies, and some were used in drug-related assault
The excessive number of privately
owned guns has resulted in countless gun-related assaults,
resulting in tragedy for many innocent people:
On February 29, 2000, a six-year-old boy in
the state of Michigan killed a girl, one of his classmates.
On April 18 that year, a man in suburban
Detroit, who became angry when his neighbors complained
about him, fired on the office of the apartment complex,
leaving three women dead or injured.
night of April 24, seven children were senselessly
slaughtered by a gunman at the Washington National Zoo.
On December 28, four masked gunmen broke into
a home in Philadelphia fatally shooting seven people and
This year on January 9, a
gunman killed three people in Houston, Texas, and on
February 5, another gunman killed four people and injured
four others at a factory near Chicago.
Statistics have shown that over 31,000 people
in the United States are killed by guns each year, and over
80 people are killed in gun-related incidents every day.
Police brutality is not uncommon in the United
Each year, thousands of allegations of
police abuse are filed across the country, but relatively
few police officers who violate the law are held
Victims seeking redress faced
obstacles that ranged from overt intimidation to the
reluctance of local and federal prosecutors to take on
police brutality cases.
During 1999, about
12,000 civil rights complaints, most alleging police abuse,
were submitted to the US Department of Justice, but over the
same period just 31 officers confessed or were convicted.
The judicial system in the US is extremely
unfair, with the death penalty exercised in 38 of the 50 US
By July 1, 2000, there were 3,682
people on death row in the nation, 90 percent of whom had
been victims of sexual abuse and assault.
of them had to rely on officially appointed lawyers as they
were too poor to pay for their own attorneys.
After reviewing the 5,760 death penalty cases
over a period of 23 years starting 1973 in the US, a team of
Columbia University professors revealed on June 12, 2000
that 68 percent of the death penalty sentences in the
country did not fit the crimes.
They said that
on average more than two of every three death penalty
sentences were overturned on appeal.
of erroneous judgment on death penalty in the state of
Florida was 73 percent, while the figures rose to as high as
100 percent in the states of Kentucky, Maryland and
Tennessee, said the professors.
A total of 660
people have been executed since the death penalty was
reinstated in 1976 by the Supreme Court of the United
States; 500 people were executed in the past eight years.
In 2000, over 70 people were executed,
accounting for 11 percent of the total.
United States violates international conventions by
convicting and executing juvenile and mentally retarded
offenders, and failing to provide defendants facing
execution with competent attorneys.
mentally retarded people have been executed in the United
States in the past decade.
Citing figures from
the US Department of Justice, the American newspaper USA
Today reported in its August 8 edition that about 6.3
million men and women in the US were on probation or parole,
or were in jail or prison at the end of 1999.
The figure represents 3 percent of the adult
population of the United States. The "correctional
population" increased 2.7 percent from 1998 and 44.6
percent from 1990, according to the newspaper.
Under US law, whose who are serving prison
terms and former inmates out on probation or parole are
disenfranchised, and one quarter of the states denied the
right to vote of those who had served their sentences.
It is estimated that over one million
Americans who have finished serving their sentences are
deprived of their right to vote.
A report of a
US judicial policy research institute showed that more than
two million men and women were behind bars by February 15,
2000, up 75 percent from the 1.14 million reported 11 years
ago, accounting for one-quarter of the total across the
world, and ranking first in the world.
Department of Justice also revealed in August 2000 that the
rate of incarceration had reached 690 inmates per 100,000
residents by the end of 1999, also the highest in the world.
The state of Louisiana took the lead with 736 inmates per
Despite huge spending that far
exceeds the federal budget for education, US prisons are
overcrowded, prison violence is rampant and prisoners are
Statistics show that in 1998,
59 inmates in the US were killed by other inmates, and
assaults, fights, and rapes injured 6, 750 inmates and 2,331
Estimates by non-governmental
groups in the state of California have shown that over
10,000 sexual assaults occur daily in US prisons, and male
inmates are sexually assaulted by their roommates. In the
most extreme cases, the raped inmates were literally the
slaves of the perpetrators, being "rented out" for
sex, "sold," or even auctioned off to other
Despite the devastating psychological
impact of such abuse, perpetrators were rarely punished
A report released in September
2000 by the US Department of Justice said an
"institutional culture that supports and promotes
abuses" was in place in US prisons.
Frequent reports of physical abuse by prison
guards include brutal beatings by officers and officers
paying inmates to beat other inmates.
Wallens Ridge State Prison, Virginia's super-maximum
security prison, 50,000-volt stun guns were often used
The Virginia Department of
Corrections reported that between January 1999 and June
2000, prison guards at Red Onion State Prison, Virginia's
super-max security prison, shot a total of 116 blank rounds
and 25 stinger rounds of rubber bullets and discharged stun
guns on 130 separate occasions.
State Prison in California, eight prison guards drove a
group of inmates to a small playground for a wrestling match
that resulted in several deaths.
inmates were placed in solitary confinement in special
maximum security facilities, where they were locked alone in
small and sometimes windowless cells and released for only a
few hours each week.
They were handcuffed,
shackled and escorted by officers whenever they left their
At Wisconsin's new super-maximum
prisons, inmates were subjected to round-the-clock
confinement in isolation, subject to constant fluorescent
lighting in their cells and 24-hour video monitoring.
III. Widening Gap Between Rich and Poor and
Deteriorating Situation of Worker's Economic and Social
The latter part of the 20th century was
the most economically prosperous period in US history, with
the economic growth rate rising steadily 118 months by the
end of 2000.
However, the gap between the rich
and poor widened and the living standards of the laborers
went from bad to worse. Pressing issues such as poverty,
hunger and homelessness proved difficult to solve.
The gap between the rich and poor in the
United States grew at the same pace as the economic growth.
Statistics show that the richest 1 percent of the US
citizens own 40 percent of the total property of the
country, while 80 percent of US citizens own just 16
Since the 1990s, 40 percent of the
increased wealth went into the pockets of the rich minority,
while only 1 percent went to the poor majority.
From 1977 to 1999, the after-tax income of the
richest 20 percent of American families increased by 43
percent, while that of the poorest 20 percent decreased 9
percent, allowing for inflation. The actual income of those
living on the lowest salaries was even less than 30 years
An article in the February 21, 2000 issue
of US News and World Report pointed out that the average
income of the richest 5 percent of families in 1979 was 10
times of that of the poorest 20 percent of families. In
1999, the income gap had been enlarged to 19 times, ranking
first among the developed countries, and setting a record
since the Bureau of Census of the United States began
studying the situation in 1947.
The income of
the executives of the largest US companies in 1992 was 100
times that of ordinary workers, and 475 times higher in
According to an assessment by the US
journal Business Week in August 2000, the income of chief
executive officers was 84 times that of employees in 1990,
140 times in 1995, and 416 times in 1999.
survey shows that the real income of the one-fifth richest
of the families in Silicon Valley has increased 29 percent
since 1992, while the real income of the one-fifth poorest
of the families in the valley decreased during most of the
1990s, and the current income for the poorest has bounced
back to the same level in 1992, with the employees at the
lowest rank now earning 10 percent less than a decade age.
A great number of Americans suffer from
poverty and hunger. According to the statistics of the US
government, over 32 million citizens, or 12.7 percent of the
total population of the country, live under the poverty
line. The incidence of poverty is higher than in the 1970s,
and higher than in most other industrialized countries.
An investigation by the US Department of
Agriculture in March 2000 showed that 9.7 percent of
American families did not have enough food, and at least 10
percent of families in 18 states and Washington D.C. often
suffered from hunger and malnutrition.
1998, 37 million American families did not have enough food.
In the state of New Mexico, 15.1 percent of the families
were under threat of hunger.
The number of
homeless Americans has continued to increase. A study in the
mid-1990s showed that 12 million US citizens were or had
been at some time homeless. According to a survey of 26
large cities conducted by the Conference of Mayors, the
urgent demand for housing increased in two-thirds of the
cities in 1999 over previous years.
in The New York Times of July 9, 2000, said that housing in
New York was in the shortest supply of recent decades. More
than 130,000 families in the city were waiting for public
housing at that time, and homeless shelters sometimes had to
receive 5,000 families and 7,000 individuals for a night.
Serious infringements upon worker's rights
have been reported. Compared with other developed countries,
the working hours of laborers in the United States are the
longest, while their social security benefits and rights are
the worst. According to a report in US News and World Report
in March 2000, the average working time of US citizens was
1,957 hours annually, longer than in other developed
In Manhattan, about 75 percent of
the people with high-level education aged between 25 and 32
years old work more than 40 hours a week. In 1977, only 55
percent of the people worked the same amount of time.
A newly published book in the United States
said that some female cashiers and workers on production
lines have to wear protective undergarments because they are
not allowed to take time to go to the toilet.
The International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions submitted a report to the World Trade Organization in
July of 1999, saying that the rights to organize and strike
were not guaranteed in US labor laws.
employers decide to break up or prevent the establishment of
trade unions, laborers have no legal redress. Only 13
percent of US workers have joined trade unions.
More than 7 million of the 14 million
functionaries in the state and local governments have no
right to collective negotiation, not to mention the right to
Millions of workers, including farm
laborers, domestic workers, and low-level supervisors, were
explicitly excluded from protection under the law
guaranteeing the right of workers to organize.
In the 1950s, hundreds of workers were
retaliated by employers for exercising their right for
association. By the 1990s, the number climbed to 20,000.
Worker's rights and social security cannot be
guaranteed for U. S. workers. A study by the US Department
of Energy in 2000 showed that the incidence of cancer among
workers in nuclear weapons production was much higher than
workers in other industries due to exposure to harmful
radiation and chemical substances.
end of World War II, 22 forms of cancer have been diagnosed
among the 600,000 workers in 14 nuclear plants in
California, Washington and other states; this incidence rate
was several times that found in ordinary factories.
The US government treads lightly on this issue
until it was exposed by media in recent years. Under public
pressure, the US government had to acknowledge the mistake.
About 30 million US citizens had no social
security eight years ago, and the figure has increased to 46
million currently. The British newspaper Financial Times
reported on October 25, 2000, that 12.3 percent of US
citizens had no medical insurance 20 years ago, and the rate
has increased to 15.8 percent now, or one out of every six
The education situation in the
United States is surprisingly poor. According to a report in
USA Today on November 29, 2000, illiteracy is still a
serious problem in such a highly developed country.
One in five high school graduates cannot read
his or her diploma; 85 percent of unwed mothers are
illiterate; 70 percent of Americans arrested are illiterate;
21 million Americans cannot read.
a child protection foundation, 71 percent of fourth graders
are not at the education level they ought to be. College
tuition has grown faster than the increase of middle class
families' income. The dropout rate among college students
has risen to 37 percent.
Statistics from the
US Census Bureau show that the income of middle class
families increased only 10 percent from 1989 to 1999, while
the college tuition increased 51 percent during the same
period. The average college tuition in 1999 was 8,086 US
dollars, accounting for 62 percent of the income of
The average tuition fee
of private colleges was 21,339 US dollars in 1999, up 34
percent over 1989, accounting for 162 percent of the income
of poor families, but only making up for four percent of the
income of rich families. More than 30 million low-income
families could not afford to send their children to
Rights Record in 2000 (2)
Office of China's State Council Tuesday released an article
titled "US Human Rights Record in 2000."
IV. Gender Discrimination & Ill-treatment
Gender discrimination is
widespread in almost every aspect of US society. American
women have not yet enjoyed equal constitutional rights
compared to men. Women in the United States not only have
weak voice in politics, but also are discriminated in terms
of employment, job status and wages. The labor protection
standards for women are below the international norms, and
sexual violence, sexual harassment and domestic violence
against women are also rampant in the United States.
Reuters reported on March 22, 2000, that as
many as 1,100 women have joined a class action gender
discrimination lawsuit, which was initiated by five women in
1978, against the US Information Agency and Voice of America
on 48 charges involving job discrimination because of
gender. Following an investigation, the court discovered
that the human resource departments of the defendants had
purposely overlooked female candidates through deceptive
means such as revising test results and selecting
beforehand. It was not until 2000 that the U. S. government
was forced to accept an out-of-court settlement and paid 508
million U. S. dollars in compensation after 46 out of 48
charges were upheld by the court. The breadth and depth of
gender discrimination in the US can be seen from this case,
which involved the highest compensation for such a case
A report released in November 2000
by an American institute studying policy on women showed
that women are paid an average of 26 percent less than their
The number of female
prisoners has been increasing markedly in the United States,
and they often are the victims of various abuses. Since
1980, the number of prisoners in the United States has
tripled, while that of the female prisoners has quadrupled.
A report released by the US government in December 1999
showed that accusations against jail officers of sexual
abuse and other negligent behavior are widespread and
criminal prosecution of prison guards for abuse of power has
been on the rise.
The following major cases
have been reported since December 1999:
Eleven guards and one officer at a county jail were accused
of sexual assault and sexual harassment by 16 female
-- a jail guard in New Mexico was
convicted of sexual assault;
-- a prison
officer in New York was sentenced to three years
imprisonment with probation for raping two female inmates;
-- a prison officer in Ohio was sentenced to
four years of imprisonment for conviction of sexual assault
of three female inmates;
-- Some female
inmates at a prison in New York disclosed that a number of
female inmates were raped and even some of them gave birth
to babies in their cells.
The majority of the
female prisoners who have been sexually assaulted cannot get
access to adequate legal protection. The state of Michigan
stipulates explicitly that prisoners are not protected by
civil rights laws.
Quite a number of women and
children have been smuggled to the United States who are
subject to slavery and torture. According to a report
released by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in
November 1999, as many as 50,000 women and children are
smuggled from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe to the
United States every year. They are often forced to become
prostitutes or ill-treated workers and servants, the
youngest of whom are aged nine. Despite as many as 100,000
women and children were smuggled to the country in recent
two years, only 250 of whom are listed as the victims of
relevant cases. The New York Times reported on April 2, 2000
that in 1999, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service
conducted an investigation in 26 cities and found smuggled
women in 250 brothels. An article carried on the "
Insight" weekly in December 2000 revealed that the
human trafficking and the sexual slave trade has become the
third largest illegal trade in terms of business volume in
the United States, following drugs and arms smuggling. An
incomplete statistics showed that criminal rings in the
United States earn 7 billion U. S. dollars from human
Children in the United
States live under worrying conditions, and they are often
the major victims of violence and as many as 5, 000 children
are shot fatally annually. The percentage of gunshot victims
under age 14 is 21 times that of 25 other industrialized
countries. Some 1.5 million children, or two percent of the
country's total, have one or both parents in prison. The
United States, one of five countries that have the death
penalty for juveniles, has the highest number of juveniles
sentenced to death in the world. Twenty-five states of the
country give death penalty to juveniles, four of which set
the lowest age for the death penalty at 17 years and the
other 21 states set 16 years as the bottom line or have no
age limit at all. Since 1990, 14 juvenile criminals have
been executed in the United States, and in the first seven
months of 2000, four juvenile criminals were put to death,
more than the figure of other countries combined in the past
seven years. By October 2000, 83 juvenile criminals, who
were under 18 when their crimes were committed were waiting
to be executed. The US Department of Justice released a
report on February 27, 2000, indicating that from 1985 to
1997, the inmates under age 18 in adult prisons more than
doubled from 3,400 to 7, 400; and 90 percent of juvenile
criminals were high school dropouts. To date, more than
100,000 children are incarcerated in juvenile detention
facilities and many of them are subject to brutal treatment.
Many children in the United States are
threatened by poverty. According to an investigation
conducted by the UNICEF, the poverty rate of children in the
United States ranks second among the 29 members of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In
1998, the poverty rate of American children hit 18. 7
percent, 2.5 percent higher than that of 1979. To date, as
many as 13 million children live in poverty, three million
more than the figure of 1979.
on January 20, 2000, that children in 15.2 percent of the
families in the US are starving, and that children aged
below six years in 16.3 percent of households don't have
enough food. About one million immigrant children who do not
hold U. S. citizenship are not covered by the medical
insurance system. More than one million children in the
country live on the streets, 40 percent of whom are under 5,
20 percent suffer from hunger, 20 percent are not covered by
the medical insurance system, 10 percent have seen murders,
shootings, rapes and violence, and 25 percent have
experienced domestic violence.
In the United
States, at least 290,000 children are working in factories,
mines and farms where working conditions are dangerous.
Children working on farms often have to work 20 hours a day
and run the risk of pesticide poisoning, injury and
permanent disability. They account for 8 percent of the
country's total child workers, while the job-related deaths
among them make up 40 percent of the country's total
occupational death toll. Among these child farm laborers,
merely 55 percent have graduated from high school. It is
estimated that there are one million cases of human rights
violations against these child farm workers in the United
States every year; yet the US Labor Department listed only
104 such cases in 1998.
Discrimination Prevails, Minorities Ill-Treated
Racial discrimination in the US has a long
history and is well known throughout the world; it stands as
one of the most serious social problems in the United
A US report on implementation of the
International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination submitted to the United Nations in
September 2000 admitted that racism exists as one of the
most daunting challenges facing the US
minorities in the United States have been called the
"Third World of the First World."
Racial discrimination is evident everywhere in
America. The Washington Post reported on February 3, 2000,
that even in large U. S. cities, few residential areas are
actually racially integrated.
In the 1990s,
the actual earnings of high-income families increased by 15
percent on average; however, the rich-poor gap between
whites and minorities remained unchanged.
survey made by the US Federal Reserve in March 2000
indicated that in 1998 the average net wealth of a
middle-income family of Latin Americans, African Americans,
or other minorities stood at 16,400 US dollars, equal to
just 17.28 percent of that of a white family. The percentage
was basically unchanged compared with 1992's 17.23 percent.
In 1998, 72.2 percent of the white families
owned their own homes while the proportions for African
American and Latin American families were only 46.4 percent
and 44.9 percent respectively.
nearly two million aboriginals were living on streets of big
cities in the United States and 40 percent of them went
without food for up to three days at a time. They are the
poorest people in the world's richest country.
The Christian Science Monitor reported in May
2000 that immigrant families account for over one-fifth of
the US poverty- stricken population and one-fourth of the
total number of poor children. Among the immigrants in the
US, over nine million, or 43 percent of the total, do not
have medical insurance. In contrast, 12 percent of white
people do not have medical insurance, according to a
research report released last year by the Journal of
American Medical Association.
The report also
indicated that 41 percent of white youths could receive
higher education while the rate for young Latin Americans
was only 22 percent.
against minorities is deeply rooted in America. The
unemployment rate among African Americans is double that of
An investigation made in 1996
indicated that 90 percent of the chief executives or
managers of US companies have never given any black people
the same status and responsibilities.
giant Microsoft had a staff of over 20,000 in the US in
1999; only 557 of them were African Americans. The number
accounted for 2.6 percent of the company's total employees.
The company has 5,155 mid-level administrative personnel and
only 82 people, or 1.6 percent, are African Americans.
A report in USA Today in 2000 said that
charges of sexual harassment on immigrated workers had
witnessed a fast increase, up 10 times from 1986 to 1999.
About 2,200 cases were reported in the 1980s, while the
figure became 15,150 in the 1990s.
discrimination has also emerged as a very serious problem in
the courts. A total of 98 percent of the judges in the US
are white while most of the people receiving prison terms or
the death sentence are blacks or other minorities.
Twelve percent of the US population are
African American; nearly half of the two million prison
inmates in the US are black, and another 16 percent are
Black men are eight times more
likely to be in prison than white men, with an incarceration
rate of 3,408 per 100,000 black males compared to the rate
of 417 per 100,000 white males. In 11 states, the
incarceration rate of African American men is from 12- 26
times greater than that of white men.
Department of Justice estimated that 9.4 percent of all
black men at the age of 25-29 years were in prison in 1999,
compared to one percent of white men in the same age group.
Also in 1999, the juveniles belonging to
minority groups constituted one-third of the adolescent
population in the United States, but they comprised
two-thirds of the young people confined in local detention
and state correctional systems. One of every three young
black people were confined in juvenile facilities or out on
An investigation funded by the Justice
Department indicated that the number of young black inmates
jailed on first offenses is six times higher than that of
white youths. Among the violent crime cases, the number of
incarcerated black youths is nine times higher than that of
the white youths.
Fifteen percent of juveniles
under 18 are black; while among the confined people of the
same age group, 26 percent are African American.
Among youths held in adult prison facilities,
58 percent are black. The likelihood of conviction for black
youths is much higher than that for whites.
California, children of color are 6.2 times more likely than
white youths to be charged with crimes, and seven times more
likely to be sentenced to prison when they are tried as
adults. The proportion of black men sent to state prisons on
drug charges to the state's total population is 13.4 times
greater than that of white men. The number of black youths
sent to correctional facilities for drug offenses is 48
times higher than that for whites.
In at least
15 states, the number of African American men sent to prison
on drug charges is 20 to 57 times more often than white men.
In seven states, 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders are
Although the majority of crack
cocaine users are white, almost 90 percent of convicted
federal drug offenders are black.
200-plus years since the US was founded, a total of 18, 000
people have been sentenced to death; only 38 of them were
white, accounting for 0.2 percent of the total. No white man
has ever been sentenced to death for raping a black woman.
Between 1977 and 1998, African Americans
comprised 10 to 12 percent of the total US population.
However, out of the 5,709 people sentenced to death, 41
percent were black.
A report from the
Department of Justice issued on September 12, 2000,
acknowledged that in the past five years, lawyers proposed
to sentence 183 offenders to death, 20 percent of them were
whites, nearly half of them were blacks, around 30 percent
were Latin Americans and the rest of were other minorities.
Of all death penalty sentences upheld by the
US federal courts since 1995, the number of colored people
accounts for 74 percent. The ratio of African American and
white murder victims was almost the same; however, since
1997, 82 percent of the total number executed were African
Americans who had murdered white people.
VI. Waging War Frequently and Rampantly
Infringing Upon Human Rights of Other Countries
The United States, assuming an air of
self-importance and practicing power politics in the world,
has done a great deal of damage by encroaching on human
rights in other countries.
The United States
has, over a long period of time, built many military bases
over the world. Hundreds of thousands of US troops stationed
in these bases have committed a series of crimes that
violated the human rights of local residents. Such acts by
the US troops have occurred frequently since 2000 and
numerous scandals have been exposed.
In 1995 a
Japanese schoolgirl was raped by three American soldiers
stationed at Okinawa, sparking a massive protest by the
Japanese people. Following this incident, a serviceman with
the US Marine Aircraft Group at Futemma Air Station was
imprisoned for allegedly attempting to rape a Japanese woman
in the city of Okinawa on January 14, 2000. That same month,
three servicemen of the US Navy in southern Nagasaki
sexually harassed two 15-year- old Japanese girls; on
January 9 this year, a seaman of the US Navy sexually
assaulted a 16-year-old Japanese girl in Okinawa.
On January 13, 2000, a US soldier on
peacekeeping duty in Kosovo raped and killed an Albanian
girl. The incident aroused strong indignation from Albanians
in Kosovo. In July last year, Green Korea United, an
environmental protection group of the Republic of Korea
(ROK), revealed that the American military base in Seoul
discharged embalming fluid used for its servicemen into the
Han River. The group reported that since 1991 another US
military base in ROK has discharged waste oil into a local
river, which is the source of drinking water for 210,000
local people. The actions of the American troops seriously
polluted the local environment and endangered the health of
A Cuban newspaper reported on
November 6, 2000, that an environmental group found more
than 50 areas in some island countries such as Fiji and
Kiribati that had been seriously polluted by dangerous
refuse. All of the material has been traced back to US
military interests or other interests of the US
The acting vice-minister of foreign affairs of
Panama revealed on July 24, 2000, that during its nearly
100-year occupation of the Panama Canal, the US has
stationed troops in the area, and numerous Panamanian women
were used and cast away by American soldiers, leaving
hundreds of thousands of fatherless children. When the US
troops withdrew from the Panama Canal area at the end of
1999, they left behind 700 pregnant women in Panama and
Colon provinces alone.
The United States butts
into the internal affairs of other countries and cultivates
its influence in secrecy, infringing upon human rights in
other countries. The US Department of Defense launched a
research institute for safety cooperation in the western
hemisphere, while the predecessor of the institution is
Escola Das Americas affiliated with the US Army Forces,
which is famous for training Latin American and Caribbean
troops to torture suspects, carry out secret executions and
mail threatening letters to political dissidents. The
school, described by international human rights
organizations as a training base for "dictators,
hangmen and assassins," trained 56,000 people during
the period between 1946 when it was first established, and
December of 2000 when it was closed.
school also trained numerous personnel for various purposes.
Many notorious human rights violators and ringleaders of
criminal gangs are graduates of this school, and nearly all
of the major massacre cases in the Latin America and
Caribbean areas have connections with these graduates.
A terrorist organization formed by graduates
of the Escola Das Americas slaughtered 767 innocent
villagers in a remote area of Columbia in 1981. Among those
murdered were people over age 90 and less than two months
Nearly 10 years have passed since the end
of the Cold War. Peace and development are now the common
aspirations of people the world over.
the United States, as the only remaining superpower, has yet
to relinquish its Cold War mentality. It stations troops
abroad, boosts military spending, sells ammunition to other
countries and regions, and rattles its sabers around the
world. The US has become a major threat to world peace and
stability, and infringes upon the sovereignty and human
rights of other countries.
A report released
by the US Department of State and the US Congressional
Research and Service Bureau said that the US military
spending and ammunition exports rank first in the world: Its
military expenses account for one-third of the world's total
and exports of ammunitions amount to 36 percent of the
global total. Its military spending budget for 2001
increased by 12.6 billion US dollars compared with the 200
billion US dollars for 2000.
statistics show that the United States has waged wars in
foreign countries and regions more than 40 times in the
1990s. The country uses cluster bombs and depleted uranium
shells, which are banned by international law, and new
weapons of mass destruction in foreign countries, killing
and injuring local people and also wreaking havoc on the
eco-environment in these places.
that US troops tested depleted uranium (DU) weapons in
shooting ranges in Panama 30 years ago. The US army dropped
940,000 DU bombs in Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. About
10,000 DU bombs were dropped by the US army during the
1994-1995 Bosnia-Herzegovina war. The US army also tested DU
weapons in military maneuvers in Japan's Okinawa in 1995 and
1996. In 1999, the US army used more than 31,000 DU bombs in
112 locations in Yugoslavia. The number of cancer patients
has increased by 30 percent in Yugoslavia due to DU
radiation, and at least 10,000 civilians have died of
radiation. About 40 out of some 80 babies born in two months
in a Bulgarian town adjacent to Yugoslavia have suffered
from physical deformities. A number of European soldiers and
civilians once served in Bosnia, Croatia and Yugoslavia
including Kosovo have contracted "Balkan
Syndrome," and at least 27 of them have died.
The U.N. Environmental Program has analyzed
samples collected in Yugoslavia and confirmed that they
contain radioactive substances, according to a spokesman for
the U.N. secretary- general. Although it is well known that
uranium is a sort of radioactive heavy metal, the United
States refuses to admit that DU is harmful to human health,
and prevents other countries and international organizations
from investigating the matter. It even refuses to stop using
DU bombs. Currently, the US troops stationed in Kosovo are
still equipped with DU weapons.
In fact, the
United States has long since had full knowledge of the harm
brought by DU weapons. Before the breakout of the Gulf War
in July 1990, a test panel affiliated with the US army
pointed out in a report that the explosion of DU bombs would
produce strong Alfa radiation that is cancer-inducing, and
soldiers carrying out tasks in DU weapon-stricken areas must
take preventive measures. However, in the same area, the
local residents had not received any notice from the US army
and they thus became victims of DU bombs.
United States has always adopted a passive attitude towards
international human rights conventions. Although the United
States was a founding member of the U.N., it did not accede
to any key international human rights convention until 1988
when it joined the convention the Convention on The
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. That is
to say, the United States did not ratify the treaty until 40
years after it was signed. In addition, it did not ratified
the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms
of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights for 28 years and 15 years
respectively after it signed them. The United States still
has not ratified the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, although it signed it 24 years
ago. The United States is one of the only two countries in
the world that have not acceded to the International
Convention on Children's Rights, and one of several
countries that have not joined the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
The United States has always opposed the right
to development as a human right, and it is the only western
country that has voted against the Declaration on the Right
to Development. Although it is a founding member of the
Organization of American States, it refuses to accede to the
Human Rights Convention of America and other human rights
conventions approved by the organization. As for the
international conventions it has already signed, the United
States has always ensured that the enforcement of the
conventions is strictly limited to within the scope of the
US constitution and laws, or let them only apply to the
federation instead of states, by making reservations,
declarations and allowances for them. In this way, the
United States has reduced the international conventions into
nothing but empty rhetoric.
louder than words, and the public champions justice. The
promotion of human rights is the common task of all nations
in the world. The United States not only closes its eyes to
its own serious human rights problems, but also releases the
" Human Rights Report" annually to condemn other
countries' human rights records. All these realities have
exposed the true face of the United States, showing it to be
a defender of power politics rather than human rights.
China would like to offer this advice to the
US government: abandon your old ways and make a new start,
take effective measures to improve the human rights record
in your own country, take steps to promote international
cooperation in human rights, and stop ordering other
countries on the pretext of safeguarding human rights.