About a week ago, the US State Department published its annual report on the state of human rights worldwide. In their report, they highlighted China, saying that despite some positive reforms,
“China continued its crackdown on human rights activists, increased repression in ethnic Tibetan and Uighur areas, and continued to severely restrict the freedoms of expression, religion, association, and assembly.”
Apparently, the Chinese government got sick of being called out by the US, and responded the next day by releasing a list of the US’s own human rights violations.
In the foreword, China’s State Council (who published the report) says,
“The State Department of the United States, which posed as “the world judge of human rights,” made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems.”
The report is expansive, but focuses on a few major issues:
- The privacy violations of the mass-surveillance NSA programs revealed by Edward Snowden
- Civilian casualties as a result of drone strikes (particularly in Pakistan, where drone strikes have killed 926 civilians since 2004)
- The “cruel and unusual” punishment of long-term isolation of prisoners in solitary confinement (some for up to 40 years) and torture of prisoners by US officials abroad
- Mass murders and rampant gun violence within the US
Read a full transcript of the report here.
Read more from Reuters about the US Human Rights report that prompted the Chinese response here.