Human rights in America: claims and reality - ANALYTICS

In some instances the West abuse position to exert pressure on other countries using “violation of democracy and human rights” as a pretext

Baku. 30 June. REPORT.AZ/ The concept of human rights means the ability of humans to exercise their subjective rights in the era of humanism and education. Main concept of human rights is that all human beings have equal rights and these rights apply to everyone without interpretation. Although it is supposed that human rights were first mentioned in Europe, exactly in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, passed in France in 1789, long before that the idea of human rights went through a remarkable development path, with human rights charters adopted in England and America. This is why the West, particularly the USA are considered “the cradle of democracy and human rights”, a role model for other countries. In some instances the West, especially the USA, abuse their position to exert pressure on other countries using “violation of democracy and human rights” as a pretext. But let`s look if the rights of people and citizens are perfectly protected in the West, including in America.

“Cradle” of democracy and human rights

One needs just to browse the Internet to see concrete evidence of the West`s poor human rights record. It is a fact that Europe is experiencing growing violation of rights of Muslims, with organizations engaged in anti-Islamic propaganda gathering pace. Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011, is the product of these terrorist organizations. It should be noted that on July 22 Breivik shot dead 69 participants of a summer camp on the island of Utoya, and then declared that Islam should be fought with terror. He also killed eight people by setting off a van bomb in Oslo. As a result of a 12 week-long trial, Breivik was declared insane and got off with minor punishment. Muslims in Germany, Denmark, Belgium and France face similar law violations on a daily basis. As regards the United States, the country joined only three of nine major international human rights conventions. Racial discrimination, xenophobia, prison overcrowding, execution of the mentally impaired is typical of the American public and political system. The Americans have not yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"Searching for the enemy within”

The election of black Barack Obama as president boosted the U.S. police`s "search for the enemy within” and increased racial prejudice. Hundreds of people, who joined Occupy Wall Street protest movement against social and economic inequality, were arrested in New York City in 2011. Journalists covering the protests in Los-Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle and other cities were also arrested, facing police brutality. Three UN reports underlined growing racial discrimination within law enforcement bodies in the U.S. The media are also frequently reporting of U.S. police violence against blacks and Latin Americans.

"I can`t breathe"

The aforementioned can be proved by an incident that happened on Staten Island, New York City, on July 17, 2014. According to The New York Times, on that day police officer Daniel Pantaleo approached Eric Garner, a 43 year old father of six, on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes. After a confrontation the officer wrestled Garner, an African American, to the ground, putting him in a chockhold. Lying facedown on the sidewalk, Garner was saying "I can't breathe" multiple times. But officer Pantaleo disregarded the plea of Garner, who had asthma. The man was later pronounced dead. But the officer was not indicted. The last words of Eric Garner became the rallying cry for protests in New York City, Washington and other cities. But there was not proper response from the authorities: the case was delayed on different pretexts, and the grand jury refused to indict the policeman who killed an African American citizen of the USA. One of the black American politicians politicized the issue, saying “it is impossible to breathe in this country where human rights are violated”.

American police: "I will kill you"

Another proof that violation of human rights has become a common occurrence in the USA is the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an 18 year old black man, by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. It was established that in the course of the incident the officer threatened to kill Brown before shooting him. Brown`s mother said the officer fired seven times at her son. The incident sparked protests staged by Ferguson residents, mostly African Americans, demanding the arrest and criminal indictment of the police officer. However a grand jury decided not to indict officer Wilson, provoking weeks-long protests and nationwide unrest. Hundreds of people involved in the protests were detained and subjected to police brutality and torture.

Journalists who became “criminals”

It should be emphasized that journalists covering Ferguson unrest were also tortured by police. The Washington Post and The Huffington Post reporters were detained by police without any reason and taken to the Ferguson police station. An Al-Jazeera reporter saw tear gas in front of him thrown by police when he was trying to go live on air. The reporters, who were soon released, later said they were more afraid of aggressive conduct of police rather than the protesters. Wesley Lowery, a reporter for The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly, a journalist of the Huffington Post, said they were using a McDonald restaurant as a staging area near demonstrations when police came into the café. Officers asked the reporters to show their press passes. Lowery showed his press pass, while Reilly refused, saying police were acting illegally. Lowery and Reilly were then taken to the back of a police car, and their equipment was seized.

"They take our lives for granted"

On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American, was arrested by the Baltimore police. Officers brutally beat the man to break his spinal cord. Gray was put in intensive care. He later died at the hospital. Gray`s death sparked mass protest rallies in Baltimore. Fearful of the growing unrest, the government imposed a curfew and deployed the Maryland National Guard to the city. A total of 210 people were detained, some 15 buildings were torched and 100 vehicles were destroyed during the Baltimore unrest. Charlie Walker, a black activist of the Baltimore protests, accused the U.S. law enforcement bodies of corruption, human rights violation and bribery. “Our struggle should not be throwing stones at police, robbing and setting a fire on shops, destroying cars. What we should do is to hit a blow to the power of dollar and stop paying money to corporations. This is the only thing they understand. Money is crucial for them. And they take our lives for granted. We were the slaves of these insects for 400 years. But they have not yet understood that we are not slaves any longer.”

Some 458 people murdered in a year

Apart from Brown and Gray, unarmed Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley and others were shot dead during encounters with police officers because of their being black. In general, the death of unarmed Michael Brown, who was shot dead in Ferguson, provoked a strong wave of civil unrest. Last year alone 458 people were shot dead by police in the United States, spurring nationwide protests and arrests. Police`s brutal treatment of blacks is contaminating the minds of white people in the USA, encouraging them to violence. On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof, a 21 year old white man, shoot dead nine people, including three men and six women, at a church in Charleston. All those killed were blacks. Roof was detained and charged with murder on racial grounds and terrorism.

Religious intolerance in the United States has also reached its peak, with anti-Islamic prejudice gathering pace. On February 10, 2015, Craig Stephen Hicks shot dead Deah Shaddy Barakat, a 23 year old student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. All three students were Muslims and were murdered on religious grounds. The incident was followed by an arson attack on an Islamic center in Texas.

Application of laws is more severe when it comes to blacks

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Dr. Christian Christensen, a professor at Stockholm University, said police violence, racial discrimination has become widespread in the USA. “This has continued for decades. What we saw in Ferguson and Baltimore and nationwide protests is not people`s response just to the murder of two black men, it is a response to police violence, torture, racial discrimination that has continue for decades. Courts contribute considerably to this because the black defendants whose victims were white are two time more likely to receive a death penalty than white defendants whose victims were black. This has been so for more than 15 years. Laws, prohibitions are applied in a more severe manner when it comes to African Americans,” he added.

Illegal control over social networks

Reports analyzing the USA`s human rights record are telling the whole truth about it. UN Human Rights Committee accused the United States of breaching several provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Headed by Nigel Rodley, a British professor, the committee accused Washington of implementing an illegal control over social networks, describing it as direct interference in people`s private lives. The UN committee`s report revealed that the USA is controlling people`s activity in social networks not only in its own area, but also in different regions of the world to instill their ideology on people, exert pressure on and encourage them to violation of law. This spoils and puts at risk private lives of thousands of people. Countries and societies suffer hardships as a result of color revolutions. All these events are resulting in mass death, with countries torn by internal clashes. Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and Libya are best examples.

Prison abuse

In its 2013 report, the State Council of the People's Republic of China provided concrete evidence of human rights violations in the USA. The council said the US carried out drone strikes in Pakistan, causing deaths of up to 926 civilians. Even Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accused Washington of breaching international law. The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation also accused the USA of violating human rights. The Foreign Ministry expressed its concern over violation of electoral rights, prison abuse, child abuse, trafficking in human beings, and other problems in the USA.

Helpless president

Although the U.S. is accusing other countries of violating democracy, human rights and freedom of speech, the country itself is experiencing widespread breach of universal values and norms. The USA is trampling on rights of migrants, religious minorities (especially Muslims). Racial discrimination is widespread in the country, accompanied by violence and death of a large number of people. Meanwhile, the USA`s first black president is watching helplessly what is happening in his country.

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