US: Number One Violator of Human Rights!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On the Occasion of 60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

With the establishment of the United Nations Organization due to the bitter experience of serious violations of human rights during World War II the question of human rights has been mentioned as one of the aims of the UN Charter under Item 3 of Article 1. Also, Articles 55 & 56 of the UN Charter cite certain commitments in this respect. In this way, the issue of human rights was taken out of the custody of governmental sovereignty and entered the field of international law.

The first measure taken by the United Nations Organization was to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. The Declaration is the best means to change the regulations of the Charter in the field of human rights. Evidences and examples cited in reliable reports such as the recent report of the Human Rights Committee speak of “falseness in words and deeds” of the United States in supporting human rights inside and outside the country. The truth is that the US has received wide condemnation over violation of primary human rights on the pretext of war on terror. The behavior of the US administration towards prisoners of the war on terror is an open violation of the Geneva conventions adopted on August 21, 1949.

After publication of reports on the tragic situation of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay detention camp followed by photos from AbuGhoraib Prison in Iraq the attention of the world was drawn to the blatant violation of human rights by the US. The catastrophe at Guantanamo Prison prompted five UN rapporteurs to release a joint report on the situation of the detainees after an 18-month investigation. After monitoring the prisoners, they asked the United Nations to take action towards closure of Guantanamo detention camp and release of its prisoners.

The savage and insulting behavior of the American troops towards prisoners of war and the detainees at AbuGhoraib Prison in Iraq as well as sexual abuse of children is another plain violation of human rights by Washington.

Violation of human rights by the US government is not restricted to overseas but also includes American citizens. After 9/11 the Bush government by relying on the USA Patriot Act issued authorization for tapping telephone conversations and electronic mails of American citizens which sparked wide scale protests. Various forms of discrimination have become rooted in the American society so that the colored are generally poor and live under miserable living conditions.

In brief, the confusion of human rights situation in the United States is so much that it has questioned US claims to be the pioneer in democracy and freedom in the world.

In another development, 47 member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council at a meeting to study the situation of human rights in the Occupied Territories, condemned the Zionist regime (Israel) and urged it to respect human rights.

Among other cases of human rights violations mention can be made of the riot-hit regions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Forced employment of children at the army, forced labor, forced replacement, child kidnapping, sexual slavery and homicide are among rampant examples of human rights violations in the country.

Torture, ill treatment and widespread arrests in Tunisia are among other clear examples of human rights violations.

It is also interesting to note human rights violations in France under the pretext of “war on terror”. Beatings in the course of interrogation of suspects have made France a vanguard in sacrificing human rights.

Amnesty International too has underlined violation of human rights in Myanmar, Sudan and certain Asian and African countries. According to AI, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates respect for human rights but political interests of certain countries and deviation from the principles of power over the past six decades have harmed human rights more than serving them.

According to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the need for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights today is as much as 1948 when it was adopted. He says: “The challenges we face today are as daunting as those that confronted the Declaration’s drafters.”


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