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Saturday 27th
posted by James Tweedie in World

Beijing hits back at Washington’s report alleging widespread abuses

CHINA went head-to-head with Washington yesterday as it released a report on US human rights hypocrisy.

The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014 was released by the Information Office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, in response to 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which was issued by the US State Department on Thursday.

Washington accused Beijing of repressing opposition activists and holding tens of thousands of political prisoners.

But with 2.3 million inmates, the US has the world’s largest prison population both in terms of absolute numbers and the proportion of the population — with the exception of the tiny Seychelles islands.

The Chinese report noted that a disproportionate number of US prisoners were black.

“The US, a self-proclaimed human rights defender, saw no improvements in its existent human rights issues, but reported numerous new problems,” said the Chinese report.

It revealed endemic discrimination against and abuse of ethnic minorities, women and children, highlighting the shooting of unarmed black man Michael Brown by police in Missouri and the fact that no officers had been charged.

“American women and children’s rights were not fully protected,” the information office said, adding that women were discriminated against at workplaces and that domestic violence, child abuse and poverty were rampant.

US Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski claimed that draft legislation on foreign-funded non-governmental organisations currently under consideration in China could potentially affect the rule of law and human rights.

But China countered that “money is a deciding factor in US politics and the US citizens’ political rights were not properly protected.”

Despite detente between the US and Cuba and ongoing talks over Iran’s nuclear energy programme, the State Department also alleged in its report that both countries “severely restrict civil liberties” and commit “human rights abuses.”

Cuba was removed from the US list of terror sponsors last month.

But China pointed out that in 2014 “the US used cruel tortures indiscriminately, notably those carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency.”