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2009年美国的人权纪录
【时间:2010-03-22】 【字号:

一、关于生命、财产和人身安全

  美国社会暴力犯罪严重,公民的生命、财产和人身安全缺乏应有的保障。
  美国司法部20099月的报告显示,美国12岁以上公民2008年共经历490万起暴力犯罪,1630万起财产犯罪,13.7万起个人盗窃犯罪,其中暴力犯罪的发生率为每千人19.3起。(注1)除交通肇事外,2008年,美国共逮捕了1400多万名犯罪分子,其中每10万人有198.2人因暴力犯罪被捕。(注22009年,费城共发生了35起家庭凶杀案,比2008年同比增长67%。(注3)纽约市有记录的谋杀案为461起,平均10万人中的犯罪案为1151起。得克萨斯州的圣安东尼奥市平均10万人中的犯罪案为2538起,被认为是美国25座大城市中最危险的城市。(注42008年,人口低于10000人的城镇谋杀案上升了5.5%。(注5)美国每年发生在城市的谋杀案达15000起,主要集中在比较贫困的社区。(注6
  美国私人拥有枪支数量居世界第一。美国联邦调查局及酒、烟和火器局统计显示,美国3.09亿人口拥有近2.5亿支枪,大部分拥有枪支的人都有1支以上的枪。美国人每年购买70亿发子弹,2008年上升到90亿发。(注7)美国法律允许飞机乘客经过申报后携带未装弹药的武器。
  在美国,每年约有3万人死于各类枪击事件。(注8)美国联邦调查局的报告显示,2008年,美国共有14180人死于枪杀案。(注9)罪犯在谋杀案、抢劫案和恶性攻击案中使用枪支等武器的分别占66.9%43.5%21.4%。(注10)《今日美国报》报道,2009311,麦克林顿在亚拉巴马州的两个镇杀害包括家属在内的10人后自杀。(注11329,罗伯特·斯图尔特在北卡罗来纳州穆尔县一所高级疗养院枪杀8人、打伤3人。43,在纽约州宾厄姆顿市一家移民服务中心,42岁的王林发向正在上英语课的师生开枪射击,造成13人死亡,4人受伤。(注122009年,不断发生的袭警事件令人震惊。321,加利福尼亚州奥克兰市一名26岁失业男子担心入狱,枪杀4名警员后被警方击毙。(注1344,波普瓦夫斯基在宾夕法尼亚州匹兹堡市开枪杀害3名警察。1129,减刑获释的莫里斯·克莱蒙斯在华盛顿州帕克兰一家咖啡馆枪击4名警察。(注14
  枪击案蔓延到学校且不断升级,校园成为暴力犯罪的重灾区。美国传统基金会的报告表明,20072008学年,华盛顿特区11.3%的高中生曾在校园中经历过枪支等武器的威胁;华盛顿特区公校因遭遇暴力犯罪事件拨打急救电话900多次(注15);新泽西州公校发生17666起暴力事件。(注16)纽约市立大学5所学院20062007年间发生恶性犯罪案件达107起。(注17
  (注1Criminal Victimization2008U.S. Department of Justice,
  (注2Crime in the United States, 2008,
  (注3)《纽约时报》,20091230
  (注4)《侨报》,20091230
  (注7)《侨报》,2009925
  (注9)《今日美国报》,2009915
  (注11)《今日美国报》,2009311
  (注12)《纽约时报》,200944
  (注14)《纽约时报》,20091212日,3日。
  (注15A Report of The Heritage Center for Data Analysis, School Safety in Washington, D.C.: New Data for the 2007-2008 School Year,
  (注16)根据新泽西州教育局200910月发布的公校系统暴力和故意伤害年度报告,
  (注17)《纽约邮报》,2009922
  二、关于公民权利和政治权利
  美国政府限制、侵犯公民权利和政治权利的情况相当严重。
  美国警察施暴严重。据《芝加哥保卫者报》200978报道,纽约市有315名警察因在执法过程中滥施暴力而受内部监管计划的监督。2007年,受监督的警察只有210人。过去两年来,纽约警察局因招致过多民众不满而接受内部审查的警察人数上升了50%。纽约警察局20091117的报告显示,纽约市警察2007年发射588发子弹,造成10人死亡;2008年发射354发子弹,造成13人死亡。(注182009934名警察用警棍、泰瑟枪殴打圣何塞州立大学学生胡方10次以上。(注19922,一名中国留学生在俄勒冈州尤金市遭一名警员无故殴打。(注20)据大赦国际统计,2009110月,美国警方过度使用泰瑟枪导致45人死亡,死亡者中最小年龄15岁。从2001年到200910月,有389人因警方使用泰瑟枪致死。(注21
  美国执法人员滥用职权。20097月,联邦调查局调查了首都华盛顿地区4名连续几年从当地毒贩开设的赌场收取保护费的警察。(注229月,芝加哥一名休班警察以巴士司机妨碍其自行车道为由对其进行殴打。(注23)同月,芝加哥警察局特别行动组4名前警察被指控以执行公务为名,用多种方式敲诈勒索犯罪嫌疑人近50万美元,并多次行贿上级主管。(注2411月,乔治王子县一警察局前局长因私自贩卖缴获的盗窃枪支而被控有罪。(注25)在美国大城市,每年有100多万行人在街上被警察叫住盘查、询问、搜身和搜包,这个数字比几年前增长了很多。(注26
  美国监狱人满为患。据美国司法部2009128报告,到2008年底,美国共有730万人被关押在监狱、看守所或处于缓刑或假释中,比2007年上涨了0.5%。(注27)其中,230万人在监狱服刑,即每198位美国人中就有1人在服刑。从20002008年,美国监狱人数平均每年上涨1.8%。(注28)由于加州监狱人满为患的压力和越来越差的财政状况,加利福尼亚州政府拟将上万名非法移民送往墨西哥的监狱。(注29
  囚犯基本权利得不到保障。狱警强暴囚犯的现象普遍存在。美国司法部指出,在93家联邦监狱中,监狱工作人员对罪犯进行性侵犯的事件在过去8年中增加了一倍。在被指控对囚犯进行性虐待的90名监狱工作人员中,有40%的人还被判犯有其他罪行。(注30)据《纽约时报》2009624报道,通过对63000多名州和联邦监狱囚犯的调查显示,4.5%的囚犯在过去12个月内至少遭受一次性虐待,估计美国至少发生6万起针对囚犯的强暴案。(注31
  监狱管理混乱,疾病蔓延。美国司法部的报告显示,2008年底,美国联邦和各州立监狱中共有20231名男性犯人和1913名女性犯人为艾滋病毒携带者,分别占男女囚犯的1.5%1.9%。(注3220072008年,加利福尼亚州监狱犯人的艾滋病毒携带者增加了246人,密苏里州增加了169人,佛罗里达州增加了166人。2007年,联邦和各州立监狱共有130多名犯人因艾滋病死亡。(注33)人权观察20093月的一份报告指出,纽约州监狱艾滋病毒携带者的人数大大多于其他大部分州,这些人无法得到相应治疗,甚至被分别关押,拒绝提供任何治疗。(注34
  美国一方面在世界上极力兜售言论自由新闻自由互联网自由,另一方面却完全按照美国自己的利益和需要,不择手段地监控、限制公民的自由权利。
  美国公民接受、传播信息的自由受到严格监控。据报道,美国国家安全局早在2001年就在国内安装专门的窃听设备,监听电话、传真和电子邮件,收集国内的通讯信息。这一项目起初只是针对阿拉伯裔美国人,后来逐渐扩大到其他普通公民。在美国的密苏里州的圣何塞、圣地亚哥、西雅图、洛杉矶、芝加哥等地安装的监听设备超过25台。近日,美国国家安全局正耗资15亿美元在犹他州威廉姆斯营建立一个百万平方英尺的数据库,在圣安东尼奥建设另一个海量数据库,作为其新成立的网络司令部的重要组成部分。一位名叫诺基奥的人因拒绝加入该计划而被指控犯有19项内幕交易罪并被判处6年徒刑。(注35

“9·11”事 件后,美国政府打着反恐的旗号,授权情报系统侵入公民的邮件通讯,并通过技术手段全面监控和强制删除网络中威胁美国国家利益的信息。根据美国《爱国者法 案》,警察机关有权搜索电话、电子邮件通讯、医疗、财务和其他种类的记录;加强了警察和移民管理单位拘留、驱逐被怀疑与恐怖主义有关的外籍人士的权力。该 法案延伸了恐怖主义的定义,扩大了警察机关可管辖的范围。200879日,美国参议院通过的新版窃听法案,给予参与窃听项目的电信公司法律豁免权,同时允许美国政府以反恐为由在未经法庭批准的情况下,可以对通信一方在美国境外的国际间通讯进行窃听。(注36)据统计,美国联邦调查局在20022006年间,通过邮件、便条和电话等渠道,窃取数千份美国公民的通讯记录。20099月,美国设立了负责互联网安全的监管部门,更加重了美国公民对政府会以维护互联网安全为由对私人系统进行干涉和监管的忧虑。美国一位政府官员在20094月接受《纽约时报》采访时承认,美国国家安全局近月来拦截和监听美国公民电子邮件和电话的行为已超越美国国会2008年设下的限制范围。除此之外,他们还秘密监听别国政治人物、国际组织官员、知名记者等的电话。(注37)美国军方也参与实施监控。据美国有线新闻网报道,总部设在弗吉尼亚州的美国军方网络风险评估机构,负责监控官方和非官方的个人博客、官方文件、私人联系信息、武器照片、军营入口以及其他可能威胁国家安全的网站。

  美国所谓的新闻自由,实际上完全服从于美国利益,是美国政府操控下的自由。据报道,美国政府和五角大楼曾有意安插一批退伍军官,在美国各大广播电视媒体担任评论员,以军事专家的身份,对伊拉克战争和阿富汗战争给出积极评价和分析,试图引导舆论,美化战争,让公众认同其反恐理念,从而获取支持。(注382009年底,美国国会通过一项法案,以传播反美内容、煽动暴力为由,对中东地区数家阿拉伯卫星电视频道进行制裁。(注3920099月,在美国匹兹堡召开20国集团领导人会议时,反资本主义抗议者使用推特和手机短信组织群众集会,与警方发生几次冲突。41岁的艾略特·麦迪逊随后被控通过网络帮助抗议者逃避逮捕,警方还搜查了他的住所。(注40)宾夕法尼亚州美国公民自由联盟负责人维克·瓦尔扎克称,如果同样的事情发生在别的国家,就会被称为侵犯人权,但在美国,却被称为必要的预防犯罪措施。
  (注20)《俄勒冈人报》,20091023日,
  (注22)《华盛顿邮报》,2009719日。
  (注23)《芝加哥论坛报》,20099月,
  (注24)《芝加哥论坛报》,2009919日。
  (注25)《华盛顿邮报》,20091118日。
  (注30)《华盛顿邮报》,2009911日。
  (注31)《纽约时报》,2009624日。
  (注36)《纽约时报》,2008710日。
  (注37)《纽约时报》,2009415日。
  (注38)《纽约时报》,2009420日。
  三、关于经济、社会和文化权利
  美国的贫困、失业、无家可归者等问题严重,劳动者的经济、社会、文化权利得不到保障。
  美国失业率创26年新高。受金融危机的影响,美国破产企业和个人数量不断上升。美联社20094月报道,过去12个月内美国申请破产保护的企业和个人总数近120万。过去一年中,每1000个美国人中就有4人申请破产,破产率是2006年的两倍。(注41)到2009124日,受金融危机影响,美国共有130家银行被迫关闭。(注42)据美国劳工部116日公布的数据,美国200910月失业率达10.2%,1600万人找不到工作,创1983年以来最高记录。(注43)失业超过半年的有560万人,占失业人数的35.6%。(注449月,年轻人的失业率高达25%,失业人数约为160万,是1948年有记录以来的最高水平。(注45200937日结束的一周里,美国有547万人继续领取失业津贴,高于前一周的529万人。(注46
  贫困人口创11年新高。《华盛顿邮报》2009910日报道,2008年底,美国贫困人口达3980万人,比2007年增加260万人,占美国人口的13.2%,贫困率是1998年以来最高的一年。1864岁贫困人口上升到2210万,比2007年增加17万人。陷入贫困的家庭占10.3%,达810万个。(注47)《纽约时报》2009929日报道,2008年,纽约市贫困率为18.2%,近28%的布郎克斯区居民生活在贫困中。(注4820088月至20098月,超过9万户加州贫困家庭被断电断气。密歇根州一名93岁的老翁也因断电断气冻死在家中。(注49)贫困导致美国自杀人数激增。据报道,美国每年约发生3.2万起自杀事件,几乎是1.8万起谋杀案的两倍。(注50)洛杉矶验尸官办公室的官员称,由于经济危机导致许多家庭无法负担丧葬费用。2008年,洛杉矶县有712具尸体无人认领,比上年增加36%。(注51
  挨饿人口居14年来最高。美国农业部20091116日报告称,2008年,美国有14.6%1700万个家庭的4910万人在挨饿,比2007年的11.1%1300万个家庭增加了31%,创1995年开始此项统计以来的最高纪录。(注52)对食物没有安全感的人从2007年的470万上升到2008年的670万。(注53)约15%的家庭还在为温饱而奋斗。(注54)据统计,20098月,美国有3650万人领取食物券,占总人口1/8,比2008年增加了710万。但只有2/3符合申请资格的人获得了食物券。(注55
  劳动者权利受到严重侵害。《纽约时报》200992日报道,根据纽约、洛杉矶和芝加哥学者一项针对4387名低收入工人的调查发现,68%被调查的低收入者被克扣工资。在被迫加班的工人中有76%的人未得到相应的加班报酬,57%被调查者的工资收入没有依法足付证明。仅有8%因公负伤的人要求赔偿。26%的被调查者的工资收入低于全国最低工资标准。在抱怨工资收入及待遇问题的工人当中,43%的工人有被打击报复或被辞退的经历。(注56)《今日美国报》2009720日报道,2007年,美国在工作场所死亡的人数为5657人,每天约有17人在工作中死亡,纽约州每年约有20万人在工作场所受伤或得病。(注57
  没有医疗保险的人数连续8年增加。根据美国人口普查局2009910日公布的数据,2008年,美国有4630万人无法获得医疗保险,占总人口比例的15.4%,比2007年的4570万人增加约60万人,是连续第8年增加。其中,1864岁无医疗保险的人数从2007年的19.6%增加到2008年的20.3%。(注58)联邦基金的调查显示,20072009年,美国31个州1864岁的成年人医疗保险范围缩小。(注59)成年人无医疗保险人口比率极高的州由1999年的2个增加到2009年的9个。得克萨斯州平均每4人中就有1人无医疗保险,居美国之首。(注60)休斯顿40.1%的居民无医疗保险。(注61)据统计,2008年,有226665岁以下的退伍军人因缺乏医疗保险或医疗服务而死亡,全国因无医疗保险死亡的退伍军人比在阿富汗战场上阵亡人数高出14倍。(注62)消费者联盟的一项调查显示,过去一年,34%的年收入5万美元以下家庭和21%的年收入10万美元以上家庭医疗保险丧失或遭到削减;2/3年收入5万美元以下的家庭和1/3年收入10万美元以上的家庭削减了医疗支出。28%的人生病不去就医;25%的人无法支付医疗或药品的费用;22%的人拖延实施医疗程序;20%的人有处方不买药或不做医疗检查;15%的人服用过期药物或为了省钱而不遵医嘱按时服药。(注63)经济合作与发展组织2009128日发布报告称,2007年美国人均寿命仅为78.1岁,在经合组织成员国中居倒数第四位,而该年经合组织成员国的人均寿命为79.1岁。(注64
  无家可归者激增。据统计,截至20089月,美国有160万人住进收容所,全家都在收容所的人数从2007年的47.3万增加到2008年的51.7万。(注652009年以来,芝加哥地区六个县的无家可归者有所增加,其中麦克亨利县增加最多,比去年增长了125%,这些家庭只能住在棚车等简易场所。(注6620093月,加州州府萨克拉门托市形成了一个帐篷城,数百名无家可归者聚集在此。南加州的圣莫尼卡市不惜动用武力定期将无家可归者驱逐到市外。(注6710月,底特律市的几千名无家可归者因担心领不到政府的住房补助而大打出手。(注6812月,纽约市收容所有6975名无家可归的单身成人,这个数字不包括短期住所里的30698人、军队老兵和长期无家可归者。(注69)《休斯顿纪事报》2009316日报道,20089月,加尔维斯顿大量房屋在艾克飓风中损毁,有数千灾民无法重返家园,约1700户家庭未得到救助,大都居无定所。(注70
  (注42)《芝加哥论坛报》,2009124日。
  (注43)《纽约时报》,2009117日。
  (注44)《纽约时报》,20091113日。
  (注45)《华盛顿邮报》,200997日。
  (注47)《华盛顿邮报》,2009911日。
  (注48)《纽约时报》,2009929日。
  (注51)《洛杉矶时报》,2009721日。
  (注52)《纽约时报》,20091117日;14.6% of Americans Could Not Afford Enough Food in 2008,《大西洋商业频道》。
  (注53)美国生命科学网站,20091126日。
  (注54)美联社,20091127日。
  (注56)《纽约时报》,200992日。
  (注57)《今日美国报》2009720日。
  (注59)路透社,2009108日。
  (注62)法新社,20091111日。
  (注65)《今日美国报》,200979日。
  (注66)《芝加哥论坛报》,20091028日。
  (注68)《今日美国报》,2009108日。
  (注69)《纽约时报》,20091210日。
  (注70)《休斯顿纪事报》,2009316日。
  四、关于种族歧视
  种族歧视至今仍是美国社会的一大痼疾。
  黑人和其他少数族裔是最贫困的美国人。据美国人口普查局公布的报告,2008年美国中等收入水平的家庭平均年收入50303美元,其中白人为55530美元,而拉美裔则为37913美元,相当于白人的68%;黑人仅为34218美元,相当于白人的61.6%。在同等学历和技能下,少数族裔的平均收入仅为多数族裔收入的60-80%。(注71)据美国人口普查局发布的报告,2008年美国白人的贫困率为8.6%,而黑人、拉美裔人的贫困率分别为24.7%23.2%,接近白人的3倍(注72),还有1/4的印第安人生活在贫困之中。2008年没有医疗保险的拉美裔人达30.7%,黑人为19.1%,而白人为14.5%。(注73)根据美国住房和城市发展部的报告,截至20089月的财政年度内,在该部收到的10552起涉及住房投诉案中,种族歧视占35%。(注74)美国联邦疾病控制和预防中心的报告显示,非洲裔美国人只占美国人口的12%,却每年占美国新增艾滋病病毒感染者和因艾滋病死亡者的近一半。(注75
  对少数民族的就业和职业歧视严重。在美国的失业大军中,少数族裔失业者首当其冲。据报道,200910月,美国平均失业率为10.2%,其中,黑人失业率上升到15.7%,西班牙裔人失业率上升到13.1%,而白人失业率为9.5%。(注761624岁的黑人失业率达34.5%,超过美国平均失业率的3倍,创历史最高。有些城市的黑人失业率达到20%(注77),有的印第安人部落失业率高达80%。(注78)据美国劳工统计局的统计,2009年,25岁以上的黑人男性大学毕业生的失业率是8.4%,接近白人男性大学毕业生失业率4.4%2倍。(注79)据统计,2008年美国95000件职业歧视案中,近1/3为种族歧视案。(注80)据美国平等就业委员会称,已连续接到5起关于休斯顿一家石油天然气公司存在种族歧视行为的投诉。(注81)据报道,截至20095月底,黑人和西班牙裔人口各占纽约市人口的27%,但是由于纽约市消防部门不公正地排除有色人种担任消防队员,黑人消防队员仅占3%,西班牙裔消防队员占6%。(注82
  少数民族在受教育方面受到歧视。据美国人口普查局的报告,33%的白人拥有大学学历,但黑人只有20%,拉美裔人只有13%。(注83)据报道,20032008年间,在向法学院递交申请的学生中,61%的非洲裔和46%的墨西哥裔学生遭到拒绝,而只有34%的白人学生遭到拒绝。(注84)非洲裔儿童仅占美国公立学校在校生的17%,但是被开除的数量却占被开除总数的32%。据北卡罗来纳大学和密歇根州立大学关于美国黑人少年对种族歧视看法的研究报告,大部分黑人少年认为自己是种族歧视的受害者。(注85)另据一项对休斯顿、洛杉矶和伯明翰5000名儿童的调查显示,20%的黑人儿童认为自己遭遇歧视,拉美裔儿童为15%。研究显示,种族歧视是导致少数族裔儿童精神疾病的重要原因。拉美裔儿童有抑郁症状的数量是其他族裔儿童的3倍,黑人儿童是其他族裔儿童的2倍。(注86
  执法和司法领域的种族歧视非常明显。据美国司法部统计,截至2008年底,美国每10万黑人中有3161名男子和149名妇女被关押在监狱里。(注87)有25个州非洲裔青年被判处无假释终身监禁的比例是白人青年的10倍,在加利福尼亚州达18倍。在美国各大城市,每年有超过100万行人在大街上被警察叫住盘查,近九成是少数族裔男子,其中五成为非洲裔人,三成为拉丁裔人,而被检查的白人只有一成。(注88)纽约市警察局发布的报告显示,2008年纽约市警察针对黑人和拉美裔人开枪的比例分别为75%22%,而针对白人开枪的比例则为3%。(注89)据人权观察发布的报告,19802007年,美国全国范围内黑人因毒品犯罪而被拘捕的比例是白人的2.85.5倍。(注90
“9·11”事件以来,对穆斯林的歧视加剧。一家研究中心发布的一项联合调查显示,58%的美国人认为穆斯林遭受到很大的歧视。1829岁的年轻人中有73%的人认为穆斯林是最受歧视的群体。(注91
  移民境遇悲惨。据大赦国际美国分会发表的报告,美国每年拘留30多万非法移民,平均每天在押的移民超过3万人。(注92)同时,每年有数以百计的合法移民被拘禁、拒绝入境甚至押送出境。(注93)据宪法项目研究小组和人权观察联合发布的一份报告,从19992008年,有140万名被拘留的移民被转移,原在洛杉矶和费城生活多年的上万名移民被强行移送到遥远的得克萨斯州或路易斯安那州移民监狱。(注94)纽约市律师协会200810月接到关押在曼哈顿瓦里克拘留所100名男性移民的求援信,描述了拘留所的拥挤、肮脏、缺医少药、挨饿、每天做工只有1美元报酬的境遇。(注95)一些哺乳期的母亲被关押后因为被拒绝提供吸奶器,导致伤风、乳腺炎和丧失哺乳能力。(注96200310月以来在移民与海关执法局关押中死亡的移民达104人。(注97
  种族仇恨犯罪频发。美国联邦调查局20091123日公布的仇恨犯罪统计显示,2008年,美国共发生仇恨犯罪7783起,其中51.3%是基于种族歧视,19.5%基于宗教偏见,11.5%基于国别歧视。(注98)在种族仇视案件中,70%以上是针对黑人的。2008年,针对黑人的暴力犯罪达每千人26人,针对白人的数字是每千人18人。(注992009610日,白人至上主义者和新纳粹分子布伦在华盛顿纳粹大屠杀遇难者纪念馆枪杀黑人保安约翰斯,打伤2人。(注100)据美国南方贫困问题法律中心公布的报告,纽约州萨福克县种族不容忍和民族仇恨的氛围造成过去10年间发生很多起白人攻击拉美裔移民事件。(注101
  (注71)《华尔街日报》,2009911日;《今日美国报》,2009911日。
  (注72)《纽约时报》,2009929日。
  (注73Income, Povorty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008,
  (注74)《华盛顿邮报》,2009610日。
  (注75)《华尔街日报》,200948日;美国联邦疾病控制和预防中心2009年发表的报告。
  (注76)《今日美国报》,2009116日。
  (注77)《华盛顿邮报, 20091210日。
  (注78)《侨报》,2009116日。
  (注79)《纽约时报》,2009121日。
  (注80)美联社,2009427日。
  (注81)美联社,20091118日。
  (注82)《纽约时报》,2009723日。
  (注83)美国人口普查局,2009427日,
  (注84)《纽约时报》,201017日。
  (注85)《科学日报》,2009429日。
  (注86)《今日美国报》,200955日。
  (注88)《侨报》,2009109日。
  (注89)《纽约时报》,20091117日。
  (注92)《世界日报》,2009326日。
  (注93)《星岛日报》,2009413日。
  (注94)《纽约时报》,2009112日。
  (注95《纽约时报》,2009112日。
  (注97)《华尔街日报》,2009818日。
  (注100)《华盛顿邮报》,2009611日;《华尔街日报》,2009611日。
  (注101)《纽约时报》,200993日。
  五、关于妇女、儿童权利
  美国妇女儿童生存状况每况愈下,妇女儿童的权利得不到应有的保障。
  妇女不享有与男子平等的社会政治地位。美国女性人口占总人口的51%,但是在目前第111届美国国会中,男议员有441名,女议员只有92名,占17%,其中参议员17名,众议员75名。(注102)一项研究表明,少数族群和妇女很少能在美国的大型慈善机构和非盈利机构中身居要职,妇女仅占非盈利机构首席执行官总人数的18.8%,在世界500强企业中只占3%。在美国400个最大的慈善机构中,所有文化组织、医院、公共事务团体、犹太人联盟或其他宗教组织中没有一个是由妇女领导的。(注103
  妇女就业难、收入低、生活贫困。据美国平等就业委员会统计,2008年该委员会共收到就业方面的指控95402件,比上年提高了15%,其中基于性别方面就业歧视的指控继续占很高比例。(注104)美国人口普查局20099月公布,美国全职妇女2008年的年均收入为35745美元,全职男子的年均收入为46367美元,女性收入为男性的77%,低于2007年的78%。(注105)据美联社报道,一名已在沃尔玛工作10年的女药剂师因为要求获得与男同事相同的薪酬于2004年被解雇。(注106)到2008年底,有420万个单亲女性家庭生活贫困,比率达28.7%。(注107)美国有6400万工作年龄的妇女没有医疗保险或医疗保险额太少、支付账单有困难或欠交医疗费甚至放弃治疗,占工作年龄妇女总数的70%。(注108
  妇女频遭暴力和性侵害。据报道,美国强奸发生率比英国高13倍,比日本高20倍,居世界最高。(注10920093月,圣迭戈地区连续发生5起尾随妇女入室抢劫并且对受害人施以性侵害的案件。(注110)据美国国防部发布的一份研究报告,截至2008年财政年度,美军方共接到2900多起军队内部强奸和其他性侵犯案件,比上一年增加9%,而这些案件中只有292起案件被提交到军事法庭。报道称,此类案件的实际数字可能是举报数字的510倍。(注111)据路透社报道,根据对40个服役美国女兵的深度采访,其中10人被强奸,5人被性侵犯,还有13人被猥亵。(注112
  美国儿童饥寒交迫。据美国农业部公布的报告,2008年,占美国儿童总数1/41670万儿童得不到足够食物。(注113)美国食物救济机构喂养美国公布的一份报告称,美国有350万名5岁以下儿童经常挨饿或营养不良,占儿童总数的17%以上,其中有11个州挨饿儿童比例超过20%,路易斯安那州达到24.2%。(注114)美国贫困人口中18岁以下的儿童占1/3以上。据美国人口普查局公布的数据,到2008年底,美国15.7%18岁以下儿童生活在贫困中,人数从2007年的1330万上升到1410万。(注115)据报道,20052006年间,美国每年有150多万儿童无家可归,每50名儿童中就有一人无家可归。在无家可归的儿童中,42%不到6岁,大多数是非洲裔和印第安人。(注1162008年美国有近1/10的儿童得不到医疗健康保险。据报道,2008年,美国有730万儿童没有医疗保险;占美国儿童的9.9%,内华达州有20.2%的儿童没有保险。(注1172009813日,加州风险管理医疗保险委员会投票通过决议,从200910月起终止6万多名贫困家庭儿童的健康家庭医疗保险;到20106月底前,将取消67万名贫困家庭儿童的健康家庭医疗保险。(注118)霍普金斯医学院儿童中心的一项研究表明,过去20年来,由于缺乏医疗保险,导致约1.7万名美国儿童死亡。(注119)美国疾病控制与预防中心说,自20094月甲型H1N1流感爆发至10月间,美国约800万名18岁以下的儿童染病,其中540人死亡。(注120
  儿童生活在暴力和恐惧中。据报道,2008年,美国共有149418岁以下的儿童被杀。(注121)纽约市卫生局2009616日公布的一份报告显示,20012007年间,美国112岁儿童死亡率为10万分之20,其中谋杀死亡率为10万分之1.3。(注122)美国司法部200815月的一项对454917岁以下儿童的调查表明,60%以上的美国儿童在过去一年中直接或间接遭受暴力侵犯,近一半被调查儿童至少受过一次攻击,约6%的儿童受到性侵犯,13%的儿童挨过打。(注1232002年以来,得克萨斯州至少有1227名儿童因受虐待或照顾不周而死亡。(注124)据美国研究机构和公共卫生媒体的研究报告显示,美国每年有1/3离家出走或者被赶出家门的孩子靠出卖肉体换取食物、药品和居所。司法系统不再把她们当作年幼的受害者,而是把她们当作青少年罪犯。(注125
  农业大量使用童工。据一个儿童权益保护组织披露,美国约有40万儿童从事合法的农业工作。据美国农场工人就业培训计划主席戴维斯·斯特劳斯称,数十年以来一直有年龄低于8岁的儿童从事此类工作,而且他们在工作过程中使用的是锋利的劳动工具和危险性极高的农药。该机构领导委员会主席厄尼·弗洛里斯表示,美国因从事农业工作而死亡的人口中有20%是儿童。(注126)美国的一项劳动标准法允许13岁以上儿童在炎炎烈日下长时间进行农业劳动,却不允许他们坐在配有空调的办公室里工作,甚至不准在快餐店里打工。
  美国是世界上唯一不对少年犯适用假释的国家。从19852002年,被关押的青少年增加44%。很多孩子仅犯有轻微违法行为,却没有得到律师的帮助。许多检察官、公诉人和法官对于发生在少年监狱的虐待视而不见。
  (注102Members of the 111th United States Congress,维基百科。
  (注103)《华盛顿时报》,2009920日。
  (注105)《华尔街日报》,2009911日;
  (注106)美联社,2009105日。
  (注108)《侨报》,2009512日。
  (注109Occurrence of rape,
  (注110)《星岛日报》,2009314日。
  (注111)美国哥伦比亚广播公司晚间新闻,2009317日。
  (注112)路透社,2009416日。
  (注113)《华盛顿邮报》,《今日美国报》,20091117日。
  (注115)《华盛顿邮报》,2009911日。
  (注116CNN, MSNBUC, 2009310日。
  (注117)《华盛顿邮报》,20099 21日。
  (注118)《洛杉矶时报》,《侨报》,2009814日。
  (注119)《公共卫生杂志》,20091030日。
  (注120)《今日美国报》,《华尔街日报》,20091113日。
  (注121)《今日美国报》,2009108日。
  (注123)美联社,2009107日。
  (注124)《休斯顿纪事报》,20091022日。
  (注125)《侨报》,20091028日。
  (注126)西班牙《起义报》,20091014日。
  六、关于侵犯他国人权
  美国凭借强大的军事实力,在国际上推行霸权主义,粗暴侵犯他国主权,肆意践踏他国人权。
  美国作为全球最大的军火销售国,加剧世界各地不稳定。美国的军费世界第一。据报道,美国军费在2008年又增加了10%,达到6070亿美元,占世界军费的42%。(注127)据美国国会的一份报告显示,在2008年全球武器销量创下4年来新低的时候,美国对外军售总额却从上一年的254亿美元猛增到378亿美元,增长了约50%,占当年全球军售总量的68.4%。(注1282010年伊始,美国政府不顾中国政府和人民的强烈抗议,宣布对台湾出售总价值近64亿美元的军售计划,严重损害中国国家安全利益,引起中国人民的强烈愤慨。
  伊拉克战争和阿富汗战争不仅给美国人民增加了沉重的负担,更给伊拉克和阿富汗两国人民的生命财产造成了巨大损失伊拉克战争已给伊拉克造成逾百万平民死亡、逾百万人无家可归以及巨大财产损失。在阿富汗,美军滥杀无辜的事件至今仍然不断发生。200985日,5名正在货车上搬运黄瓜的阿富汗农民在美军发动的空袭中丧生。(注129)美国国防部200968日表示,美军在200955日在打击塔利班时,没有遵守适当的方法和程序,造成阿富汗平民死亡。阿富汗官方目前已收集到了147名遇害平民的姓名,其中包括妇女和儿童,而美国指挥官则称死亡人数不超过30人。(注130
  虐囚是近年来美国在人权领域的最大丑闻之一。2009年,联合国人权理事会反恐中保护人权及基本自由问题特别报告员在向人权理事会第10届会议提交的报告中称,美国创造了一套全面的特别递解、长期和秘密拘留以及违反联合国禁止酷刑公约的做法。该报告员在提交第64届联大的报告中指出,美国及其私人承包人对在伊拉克和其他地方关押的男性穆斯林使用了强迫堆叠裸体男囚、强迫与其他被拘留者进行同性性行为、强迫赤身裸体等审讯手段。(注131)美国中央情报局自2002年就开始使用酷刑手法审讯犯人。美国政府200932日证实,中央情报局自2001年以来销毁的92盘有关审讯恐怖犯罪嫌疑人的录像带中有12盘录像带记录了使用酷刑的画面。(注132)根据近期公布的秘密报告,中央情报局使用手枪和电棒审讯犯人。(注133)根据美国公布的一系列司法部秘密文件,执法者可以将犯人以站立姿势铐住达180小时,十多个中央情报局的犯人被剥夺睡眠最少48小时,有3人被剥夺睡眠超过96小时,其中一人为近8天的时间,另一人被剥夺睡眠11天。(注134)据报道,中央情报局审讯人员曾经对“9·11”事件的主要谋划者哈立德·谢赫·穆罕默德使用了183次水刑,并对基地组织的另一名军事领导人阿布·祖贝达使用83次水刑。(注135)关塔那摩监狱如同人间地狱。据被释放的关塔那摩监狱囚犯穆罕默德称,他在美国中央情报局喀布尔秘密监狱和关塔那摩等监狱遭到了中世纪般的拷打。(注136)据美国《哈泼斯杂志》和全美广播公司2009年联合进行的调查,20066月被指自杀3名关塔那摩监狱囚犯很可能是在同一个晚上接受审讯时窒息而死,当局却对外宣称他们是上吊自杀。(注137)在关塔那摩监狱被关押达8年之久的索马里人穆罕默德·萨莱班·巴雷说:那里是人间地狱。我的狱友们有的眼睛看不见了,有的胳膊、腿没了,有的精神失常。(注1382009年,被关押在关塔那摩监狱的一名31岁的也门人长期绝食后身亡。自2002年起已有5人死亡,其中4人自杀。(注139)美国政府在阿富汗巴格拉姆空军基地关押了600多名囚犯。联合国20092月出台的一份报告点名批评巴格拉姆监狱说,有些人在巴格拉姆被关押了5年之久。已经获释的一些关押者声称他们遭受了严刑拷打,甚至性侵犯。一些人还称他们曾经被关在有1520个人的笼子里,有两名关押者在监禁期间死亡,死因可疑。(注140)另据美国司法部的调查,有2000名塔利班投降士兵被由美军控制的阿富汗武装塞进卡车中窒息死亡。(注141
  美国在世界各地设立军事基地,侵犯当地人民人权的事件屡见不鲜。目前,美国在世界上有900处军事基地,基地中有超过19万名士兵和11.5万名相关工作人员。这些基地给当地造成了巨大的破坏和环境污染,炸弹爆炸产生的有毒物质给当地儿童造成巨大的伤害。据报道,在苏比克和克拉克美军基地,已经有约3000件美军士兵强奸当地妇女的案件被提交,但是都被法院裁定不予受理。(注142
  美国对古巴进行长达近50年的经济、商业和金融封锁,给古巴带来了超过930亿美元的直接经济损失。20091028日,第64届联大以187票支持,3票反对、2票弃权的压倒性多数第18次通过《必须终止美利坚合众国对古巴的经济、商业和金融封锁》决议,要求美国立即结束对古巴的封锁。(注143
  美国打着互联网自由的旗号,推行霸权主义。美国垄断着世界互联网的战略资源。互联网自诞生之日起就由美国牢牢掌控,目前全球互联网根服务器有13台,其中唯一的主根服务器在美国,其余12台辅根服务器中有9台在美国。所有根服务器均由美国政府授权的ICANN(国际互联网名称和编号分配公司)统一管理,负责全球互联网根域名服务器、域名体系和IP地址等的管理。世界各国和联合国等国际组织都曾要求打破美国对互联网根服务器的垄断,分享互联网的管理权,但是均遭美国拒绝。美国利用其对互联网资源的垄断地位,通过各种形式干涉别国内政。美国建有专门的黑客部队,并在全球范围内招募黑客精英为其服务。2009年夏天,伊朗发生总统选举骚乱,选举失利的伊朗改革派阵营及其支持者利用推特等网络工具发布大量信息。美国国务院要求推特运营商推迟系统升级计划,以帮助反对派制造舆论声势。当年5月,某网络公司也曾按照美国政府的授意,切断了古巴等五国的MSN即时通讯服务端口。
  美国建立名为梯队的窃听系统,对全球进行窃听。欧洲议会的报告书指出,梯队系统作为一个由美国操纵的情报收集分析网络,能够在全球范围内拦截以公众电话交换网络、卫星及微波通讯所传送的电话、传真、电子邮件和其他数字资讯,并监控其中的内容。欧洲议会曾点名批评美国利用梯队系统从事犯罪活动,如侵犯一般平民的隐私权或国家性质的商业间谍活动,其中最有名的是沙特阿拉伯60亿美元客机案。(注144)英国王妃戴安娜生前提倡全球反地雷运动,与美国的政策相抵触,她的电话因此被监听了。《华盛顿邮报》报道说,美国政府的这种间谍行动不禁让人想起了当年越战期间美国政府对国内反战派人士进行监视窃听的行为。
  美国漠视国际人权公约,消极对待国际人权义务。美国于32年前签署《经济、社会和文化权利国际公约》,于29年前签署《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》,但迄今均未批准。美国还没有批准《残疾人权利公约》。2007913日,第61届联大表决通过的《土著人民权利宣言》,是迄今联合国通过的保护土著人民权利的最权威和全面的文件,美国依然拒绝承认该宣言。

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

  (注127)美联社,200969日。
  (注128)路透社,200996日。
  (注130)《费城问讯报》,200969日。
  (注131)《华盛顿邮报》,200947日。
  (注132)《华盛顿邮报》,200933日。
  (注133)《华盛顿邮报》,2009822日。
  (注135)《纽约时报》,2009420日。
  (注136)法新社伦敦,200937日电。
  (注137)英国《卫报》网站,2010118日。
  (注138)法新社索马里哈尔格萨,20091221日电。
  (注139)《纽约时报》,200963日。
  (注140)美国国际新闻社纽约2009225日电。
  (注143Overwhelming International Rejection of US Blockade of Cuba at UN,
  (注144)维基百科。
 
 
 

 

I. On Life, Property and Personal Security
Widespread violent crimes in the United States posed threats to the lives, properties and personal security of its people.

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

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

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

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

II. On Civil and Political Rights
In the United States, civil and political rights of citizens are severely restricted and violated by the government.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

III. On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Poverty, unemployment and the homeless are serious problems in the United States, where workers' economic, social and cultural rights cannot be guaranteed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V. On the Rights of Women and Children
The living conditions of women and children in the United States are deteriorating and their rights are not properly guaranteed.

Women do not enjoy equal social and political status as men. Women account for 51 percent of the U.S. population, but only 92 women, or 17 percent of the seats, serve in the current 111th U.S. Congress. Seventeen women serve in the Senate and 75 women serve in the House (Members of the 111th United States Congress, http://en.wikipedia.org). A study shows minorities and women are unlikely to hold top positions at big U.S. charities and nonprofits. The study reveals that women make up 18.8 percent of nonprofit CEOs compared to just 3 percent at Fortune 500 companies. Among the 400 biggest charities in the U.S., no cultural organization, hospital, public affairs group, Jewish federation or other religious organization is headed by a woman (The Washington Times, September 20, 2009).

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

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

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

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

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

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

VI. On U.S. Violations of Human Rights against Other Nations

The United States with its strong military power has pursued hegemony in the world, trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and trespassing their human rights.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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